NEWS

Aussie Woman Fronts Court for 3 Charges

An Australian woman has been charged with the alleged importation and unlawful possession of illicit drugs and a third count of failure to allegedly declare arms and ammunition to a
26 Jun 2018 12:32
Aussie Woman Fronts Court for 3 Charges
Yvette Dianne Nikolic at the Nadi magistrates court on June 25, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

An Australian woman has been charged with the alleged importation and unlawful possession of illicit drugs and a third count of failure to allegedly declare arms and ammunition to a customs officer.Yvette Dianne Nikolic, appeared before Nadi Magistrate Siromi Turaga yesterday

Charges

The first count is the alleged importation of the illicit drugs.

On June 22 in Nadi, Nikolic without lawful authority imported illicit drugs namely cocaine weighing 12.9 kg and methamphetamine tablets weighing 34.4 grams.

The second count is for the alleged unlawful possession of illicit drugs – on the same day the accused without lawful authority had in her possession illicit drugs namely cocaine weighing 12.9 kg and methamphetamine tablets weighing 34.4 grams.

The third count is the alleged failure to declare arms and ammunition to a customs officer.

While arriving into the Denarau Marina, Nadi in a yacht namely Shenanigans she failed to declare arms and ammunition to the customs officer namely Vasiti Toga.

The accused understood the charges.

Nikolic was represented by lawyer Ronald Gordon of Gordon and Co and Police prosecutor inspector Parmesh Chand represented the State.

Mr Gordon asked the court for the plea to be deferred with some citing of the documents to be discussed with the client.

The court also heard some issues regarding the concerns of his client.

Firstly, he made an application to the court for the yacht to be returned to his client after investigation of the vessel had been completed.

The reason being that the vessel is equipped with Lithium batteries  worth US$15, 000 (FJD$31,165).

Mr Gordon said: “It is very expensive and this needs to be plugged in otherwise they lose their battery storage power and die permanently causing extensive loss.

“Given that the investigation is completed as the prosecutor has confirmed. I don’t see any reason why the boat cannot be returned to the owners,” Mr Gordon said.

Secondly, he told the court that his client had spent the last two days sleeping at the border Police office at the Nadi International Airport.

“She has few clothes and personal belongings to get from the vessel and this can be facilitated with  Police escort,” Mr Gordon said.

“Again with Police or prison escort to visit her husband who is in hospital. This has affected her since Friday. I don’t see any harm if any provision is made for her to see her husband.”

Prosecutor

The Police prosecutor confirmed with the court that another suspect, in this case was admitted at the ICU in Lautoka Hospital and they were waiting to question him.

Magistrate Turaga said: “Due to the raid, and the weight of the illicit drugs, the case needs to be transferred to the High Court.”

The court heard that the yacht was now under the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service.

Magistrate Turaga directed the Police officers and FRCS to facilitate requests by the accused to have access to her belongings from the vessel.

The court heard that the formal application of the yacht to be released and other matters would be heard at the High Court.

The accused has been remanded at the Remand Centre in Lautoka.

The case was adjourned and the matter transferred to the High Court in Lautoka for mention on July 4.

Edited by Percy Kean

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