21 Nov 2011

11 more drugs charges admitted in Cooks drugs case

7:48 am on 21 November 2011

Defendants in the Cook Islands' largest ever drugs bust have admitted another 11 criminal charges.

Operation Eagle defendants, of which 11 remain, appeared in the Cook Islands High Court at Rarotonga before senior justice of the peace John Kenning.

Of the eight who stood in the dock, four entered guilty pleas to charges relating to the cultivation, sale and possession of cannabis as well as the possession of drug paraphernalia.

Not guilty pleas have now been entered against 40 charges by six defendants, while 18 charges against three defendants remain without plea.

To date two Operation Eagle defendants - Tina Upu and Faimau Robati - have been convicted and sentenced.

Initially police laid 70 criminal charges against 13 defendants as a result of the year-long investigation, which involved 11 New Zealand detectives.