Alleged drug trafficker Ivan Tesic pleads not guilty
Queensland (Ozi Indian Tv Channel) The trial of alleged drug trafficker Ivan Tesic has heard utes were fitted with hidden compartments to conceal drugs and money during transport and could only be opened by activating secret switches.
Tesic, 44, pleaded not guilty to one count of trafficking and one count of possessing methylamphetamine on Thursday, the first day of his Brisbane Supreme Court trial.
It's alleged he unlawfully trafficked the illicit substance between March 2011 and March 2014 in areas including the Gold Coast, and also unlawfully possessed more than 200 grams of it at the Isle of Capri on March 20, 2014.
In his opening address, crown prosecutor Mark Whitbread told the jury police executed a search warrant at Tesic's Surfers Paradise property in March 2014 and seized two utes.
With the help of sniffer dogs, police later discovered the vehicles had hollowed-out airbag compartments containing a combination of cash, pills, cocaine and soft drink bottles partially filled with methylamphetamine oil.
While Tesic was not there at the time of the raid, Mr Whitbread said it came at the conclusion of a lengthy police surveillance operation that included listening devices being planted inside the property as well as a camera outside.
The court heard one of the vehicles belonged to a man who was "intimately involved" in Tesic's alleged offending, and whose credibility would be a key issue for jurors.
Mr Whitbread told the jury the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had formerly transported drugs and cash on behalf of Tesic.
He made multiple trips to Sydney, where the accused trafficker also had a property in West Hoxton, including a journey in March 2014 where he said he transported a bag containing about $500,000 to the NSW property.
NSW police raided that home in April 2014 and found items including two sets of electronic scales and a red notebook, the court heard.
That same day, Tesic was detained by Australian Federal Police officers at a domestic terminal at Sydney Airport carrying a bag filled with roughly $43,500.
Mr Whitbread told jurors the one-time courier would give evidence Tesic would sell large quantities of drugs to "a small customer base" using, on occasion, a system of credit.
The jury is expected to hear from witnesses including Queensland, NSW and Australian Federal Police.
The trial, which is expected to run for two weeks, continues before Justice Debra Mullins.