43-year-old Chun Li, from Guangdong Province in China, appeared before the Lae Committal Court today.
Senior Provincial Magistrate, Pious Tapil, was told that Chun knowingly transported 88 bags of methamphetamine on Tuesday, March 21st, from KC2 at Seventh Street in Lae to the Bulolo airstrip.
Police reported that between 4 and 4.30am on Tuesday, Chun and his accomplice were observed inside the KC2 premises, loading the bags from a trolley into a tinted Landcruiser.
The vehicle reportedly headed for Bulolo with Chun and three others inside.
The accused, who was in the front passenger seat, arrived at the airport terminal at around 7.32am, minutes after the arrival of the twin-engine Beechcraft light aircraft at 7.24am.
After chatting with the two pilots, the 52kg of methamphetamine was loaded onto the plane.
After the plane’s departure at around 8.15am, the accused and his accomplices reportedly went into hiding after realising that police were monitoring them and had established a roadblock.
On Wednesday, 22nd March, between 7am and 12.30pm, police received information that the accused was heading to the Nadzab Airport to travel to Port Moresby then on to Australia.
A team headed to Nadzab, apprehended him and brought him back to the Lae Top Town Police Station for questioning.
On the same day, at 4pm, police executed a search warrant at KC2 and apprehended his accomplice, who was brought to the station for interrogation.
On Thursday, March 23rd, five co-accused were taken to the police station; three Chinese nationals and two Papua New Guineans.
Chun was later charged for two counts of drug trafficking 68(1) and drug dealing under section 62(3) of the ‘Controlled Substance Act 2021’.
Magistrate Tapil said: “Given the amount of drugs that you have assisted in transporting out of the country, and the value of the drugs, and your stay in the country is questionable at the moment, I find that to allow you bail at this stage of proceedings will derail the process of justice.”
“It’s proper that you be remanded until you’re represented by a lawyer and file a proper application.”
A warrant of remand was issued for Chun while his case has been adjourned to April 28th.
The magistrate also advised the police prosecution team to consult migration laws.