A Hong Kong man was smuggled into Western Australia on a boat from China to look after hundreds of kilograms of methamphetamine and more than $1 million in cash that was found at a house in suburban Canning Vale, Perth District Court has heard.
Yik To Ng is on trial accused of possessing 315 kilograms of the drug, also known as ice, that was found hidden in tea packages inside suitcases in a locked room at the house in September 2015.
The court was told the drugs had an estimated street value of $315 million.
Police also discovered about $1 million in $20, $50 and $100 bills in a sports bag in Ng’s bedroom, while a further $178,000 was found in a white plastic bag.
Prosecutor Brett Tooker said it was alleged Ng was smuggled into WA on a boat from China about a week before.
Mr Tooker said Ng and garment bags containing the drugs were left on a beach near South Headland in the State’s north, and then picked up by a white van and transported to Canning Vale.
Mr Tooker said it was the prosecutions case Ng was “willingly involved in the drug operation” and his “primary role was to look after the dugs, to be like a foreman in a warehouse”.
“Prepare the drugs for collection and distribution, count the money and provide instructions to another man who was in the house,” Mr Tooker said.
The court heard that another man, Pak Cheong Cheung, was going to be a witness at the trial and would testify he was recruited to come to Australia to handle large amounts of drugs.
Ng higher up in the drug chain than Cheung
Mr Tooker said it was alleged Ng was higher up the chain in the drug operation and in a more trusted role than Cheung.
The court was told after his arrest, Ng told police he had come to Australia to make money and had been asked to live at the Canning Vale house to keep an eye on things.
He said he had never met his boss and was told what to do by someone over the telephone, but he maintained he did not know drugs were in the packages until he opened them.
It is also alleged Ng told investigators he and Cheung had counted all the money, but did not know who it belonged to.
Ng has pleaded not guilty to a charge of possessing methamphetamine with intent to sell or supply, and possessing cash reasonably suspected of being unlawfully obtained.
His lawyer Sam Vandongen said the evidence of Cheung was going to be “hotly contested” by the defence.
The trial is set down for two weeks.