11 Aug 2009

Witness testifies about drug payment arrangements

3:49 pm on 11 August 2009

A witness whose name and identifying details are suppressed has told a High Court jury in Wellington about monetary arrangements she made regarding imports of methamphetamine from Thailand.

She was giving evidence on Tuesday at the trial of Shane Ellis, Gavin Doar, Lele Nuuaea, Timothy Wilkie and Sara McSweeney.

They face a number of charges relating to a series of drug imports that the Crown says were organised by inmates at Rimutaka Prison near Wellington.

The woman told the court she recognised Ms McSweeney from a series of photographs of women which police showed her.

She said Ms McSweeney would pay her a deposit of $20,000. The witness would keep $5000 for herself and send the rest to contacts in Thailand.

Once the drug package arrived, the witness said Ms McSweeney would pay her the balance of the payment outstanding along with a deposit for the next shipment.

She said she received a total of $10,000 from each shipment she arranged.