Corby twist in record $90m MDMA bust

 

THE man accused of being a key player in a major international drug cartel and Queensland's biggest MDMA bust is part of the Schapelle Corby clan.

Viliami Taani Paea Kisina, 26, is related to Schapelle through her half-brother James Kisina and half-sister Melenae Kisina.

It is understood Viliami, James and Melenae share the same father.

Schapelle was pictured at Viliami's home in Loganlea earlier this year, the same home raided by police as part of the large-scale operation.

Her sister Melenae is listed as having lived at the address.

Schapelle Corby's extended family tree.
Schapelle Corby's extended family tree.

In March, Semisi posted photographs of himself with Melenae and Schapelle with the caption "Visit from the daughters".

The home is owned by Viliami's father Semisi Pelaki Kisina, who is listed as having lived with Schapelle's mother in the 1990s.

There is no suggestion that Schapelle or any of her other relatives have any involvement in the drug bust.

A shocked Mercedes Corby said she had been at work all day and was unaware of the huge drug bust.

"I really don't know what's going on," she said. "I haven't heard anything. I don't know anything."

A Queensland Police officer inspects the massive 800kg drug seizure, the biggest ever in the state. Picture: Queensland Police Service
A Queensland Police officer inspects the massive 800kg drug seizure, the biggest ever in the state. Picture: Queensland Police Service

Police on Wednesday revealed they had seized 800kg of MDMA - the purest Queensland Health has ever tested - in a massive international operation involving the Queensland Police Service and authorities in New Zealand and the UK.

Viliami was one of six people arrested for their involvement in what police described as an "international organised crime syndicate".

The 26-year-old father-of-two from Loganlea was charged with possession and supply of dangerous drugs while being a participant in a criminal organisation.

Two men, UK citizens Ashley Kevin James Cooper and David Smith, were arrested in Queensland and charged with drug possession and supply and in New Zealand, another two UK citizens were arrested by local authorities.

Those men, aged 60 and 49, were arrested in relation to the seizure of 200kg of ice in Auckland, New Zealand.

Police also seized vehicles and $108,000 in cash.

A 51-year-old woman was arrested at Lennox Head in NSW and will face charges relating to the cash.

Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker of the Drug and Serious Crime Group said the MDMA had a "conservative" street value of $90 million.

Viliami is accused of shifting 800kg of top-quality ecstasy powder bound for NSW from an inner-city Brisbane unit.

He is accused of later driving a van across the ­border, which police allegedly found had a false floor installed.

The 26-year-old faced the Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday where he was refused bail.

The Loganlea property, streets away from Schapelle's family home, was raided by police on Tuesday.

Last month, detectives also executed a warrant on a Boundary St address in Brisbane, where they found more than 30 boxes filled with cryovac bags of high-purity MDMA.

The MDMA seized in the raid was the purest ever tested by Queensland Health authorities.
The MDMA seized in the raid was the purest ever tested by Queensland Health authorities.

The court yesterday heard 807kg of the drug was found inside the unit - rented by UK citizen Smith.

The other UK citizen, Cooper, was at the Brisbane CBD property at the time of the raid last month.

Cooper and Smith have both faced court charged with possession and supply of the drugs and remain on remand.

Police allege about a week before the inner-city raid, Cooper and an associate moved 17 boxes of MDMA from the unit to a truck.

In early-August, Viliami is alleged to have put 32 boxes, taken from the same apartment, into a van before driving to Coorparoo and transferring the boxes to a truck.

Police say the bust is one of Australia’s most significant drug seizures. Picture: Queensland Police Service
Police say the bust is one of Australia’s most significant drug seizures. Picture: Queensland Police Service

Two days later, police allege Viliami drove the van used to pick up the boxes to Sydney, before flying back to Brisbane.

Police later seized the van and found it contained a false floor.

Viliami's defence lawyer, Michael Bosscher, said his ­client was alleged to have transported drugs to other members of the syndicate, but it was not clear the person alleged to have moved the drugs was his client. ­

Viliami applied for bail, but it was refused on the basis he would be an unacceptable risk of failing to appear in court.

He will return to court on September 10.

Additional reporting: Greg Stolz