Recently serving four years in prison for drug importation, repeat offender 42-year-old Malachy Okoli of Padstow New South Wales was sentenced to 14 years and 6 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 9 years and 6 months imprisonment for engaging in an ongoing enterprise of importing border controlled drugs into Australia.
Between 17 February 2013 and 5 June 2014 Mr Okoli and other unidentified persons overseas participated in the activity of consigning and dispatching 14 packages containing methamphetamine, cocaine or heroin from various overseas countries being Bangkok, India, the Philippines, Brazil, South Africa and Pakistan and were imported into Australia as air cargo on commercial flights.
After arrival in Australia the 14 packages were detected and intercepted by Customs and were subsequently seized and examined by the Australian Federal Police. Twelve of the packages were found to contain everyday items such as pots, metal parts, clothing, shoes, masking tape, or books, within which the drugs were concealed. Two packages had drugs concealed within the lining of the cardboard box in which innocuous goods were packaged. The packages each contained a marketable quantity (a pure amount of greater than 2g) of methamphetamine, cocaine or heroin.
Mr Okoli leased a PO Box to where 5 of the packages were sent and the other 9 packages delivered to addresses in Padstow. The residential addresses identified and nominated by Okoli for the consignment of the packages were all addresses where the dwellings were mainly unoccupied or under construction and all were within close proximity to his own Padstow residential address. Okoli had a licence in the name of John Akam. Seven of the packages were consigned to the name John Akam or a variation of that name. Okoli obtained and used several SIM cards for telephone services other than his own to conceal his involvement in the importations including to maintain contact with people overseas in relation to the importation of the packages.
Okoli sent more than $AUD60,000.00 overseas during the charge period some being to fund the importation of the packages.
An amount of $100,050 was found by police on 3 June 2014 in a shoebox concealed under the offender’s house. An amount of $5,200 was found with the John Akam licence, three SIM cards, two Nigerian licences in the offender’s name and a Western Union card in a hessian or material bag in a box in the offender’s bedroom. Although not specifically linked to any particular offence it is reasonable to suspect that the money was the proceeds of drug offences or some other indictable offence.
On 27th May 2016 Malachy Okoli was sentenced to a total aggregate sentence of 14 years and 6 months imprisonment to commence 4 December 2015 and expire 3 June 2030 with and non-parole period of 9 years and 6 months imprisonment to date from 4 December 2015 to 3 June 2025. $105250 was forfeited by consent.
Mr Okoli was convicted and sentenced as follows:
Fourteen counts of importing or exporting marketable quantities of border controlled drugs or border controlled plants contrary to section 307.2(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth)
One count of dealing with money or other property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime worth $100,000+ contrary to section 400.9(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth)
“The Offender committed the offences for financial gain. I am satisfied each of the offences, when considered together, were part of a course of conduct and the principles of totality would apply. In respect of the offences there should be some degree of accumulation to reflect, although part of a course of conduct, it is necessary to have regard to the circumstances of each offence and the total criminality of the offending. Given his plea of not guilty, the Offender has not demonstrated any contrition or remorse in respect of these offences. The offences are objectively serious and any sentence must be of such severity that it will act as a deterrent to others. Moreover, in the present instance, the principles of specific deterrence is an important consideration.”
“Although his prior offence does not aggravate the objective seriousness of the present offences, his prior similar offending behaviour demonstrates that the present offences are not aberrant or isolated event, and as such the Offender is not entitled to any leniency which might be afforded to a person of prior good character.”