Cocaine Ring Of A Mother, Father, Son And A Taxi Driver

Drug Supply in NSW

Cocaine Ring Of A Mother, Father, Son And A Taxi Driver

COCAINE RING OF A MOTHER, FATHER, SON AND A TAXI DRIVER

You hear of brothers being arrested, although you don’t hear of your average family business where a mother, father and son from Bankstown are behind bars charged over an alleged family run cocaine syndicate.

The three members of the family are accused of hiring a taxi driver to deliver the drugs in exchange of a portion of the profits. He was a cab driver for over 2 decades allegedly moonlighting as a drug delivery driver.

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The mother, father and their son are accused of running a ‘well-organised‘ drug syndicate allegedly responsible for ‘hundreds’ of cocaine deals across Sydney.

FACTS

The Family of three were arrested last week and police allege that the son, Omar Fawaz Mahfouz, was the supplier for the family business, and the mother – Gladiss Mahfouz and father Fawaz Mahfouz,  are accused of running the operation. The Taxi driver Abdul Arnaout, who allegedly transported drugs to buyers has also been arrested. The father 53, was arrested in Roselands on Friday afternoon.

Inside the vehicle dozens of bags were found by police, ready for sale. The sales were allegedly organised by their son Omar Marfuz, 27, who is accused of organising the sales and running the operation from his family’s Bankstown home. His 52-year-old mother, Gladdis, was also arrested; now behind bars, she is unable to care for her ailing 80-year-old father, Hussein Hadid.

They were targeting organised crime in the city’s south-west.

During the four raids at different locations, more than $145,000 in cash and a money counting machine was seized by authorities, with properties also searched in Bankstown Bass Hill, Rhodes and Campsie.

Detective Chief Inspector Glen Fitzgerald from NSW Police commented that “none of Abdul Arnaout (the Taxi drivers’) activities were picking up public passengers for any particular reason other than picking up the drug syndication”. Police will allege he made hundreds of deliveries in his taxi during the three month of investigation, and that he pocketed around $50 for each of those deals. Undercover police officers stopped Mr Arnaout at Roselands on Friday afternoon, at the start of what they claim to have been the “weekend drug run”.

Mr Arnaout and all three members of the Mahfouz family remain in custody and were all reused Bail on Friday. They will be back in Court on

 “The operation was well planned, well organised and very meticulous,” Det. Insp. Fitzgerald said.

All four suspects appeared in Parramatta Bail Court yesterday and were refused bail. Mr Arnout is due to reappear at Bankstown Local Court on April 3.

THE LAW

A “prohibited drug” means any substance, other than a prohibited plant, specified in Schedule 1.

Supply of a prohibited drug is one of the most common and serious crimes which carries heavy penalties if a person is charged with the offence.

Pursuant to section 25 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) it is an offence to supply a prohibited drug. Maximum penalties range from imprisonment pf 10 years to life depending on the quantity of the drug being supplied.

Supply has an extremely wide definition. It is defined in Section 3 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 to include the “sale, distribute,  agreeing to supply, or offering to supply, or keeping or having in possession for supply, or sending, forwarding, delivering or receiving for supply, or authorising, directing, causing, suffering, permitting or attempting any of those acts or things”.

WHAT MUST THE PROSECUTION PROVE?

Since Supply a prohibited drug is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution.

The prosecution must prove the Accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. That is a high standard of proof that the prosecution must achieve before someone can be convicted of Supply a prohibited drug. To establish Supply, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt;

  • That you supplied, or knowingly took part in the supply of; a prohibited drug

DEEMED SUPPLY

If you are found to be in possession of more than a certain quantity of drugs (the quantity’s are referred to in the schedule) you may be charged with deemed supply even though you did not psychically supply it.

For example, if a person is caught with 4 grams of cocaine he may be charged with supply. This is because the schedule refers to cocaine’s  traffickable quantity of 3 grams. Police may allege that it is in your possession for the purposes of supply, even though it may just be for personal use. It is important that if you are charged with a drug supply that you speak with an expert criminal lawyer.

You will only be found guilty of supply is the police can prove beyond reasonable doubt that you supplied, or knowingly took part in the supply of a prohibited drug. Having the drug in your possession for personal use is not supplying the drug and does not fall within the definition of supply.

A  drug supply charge the police to show evidence that you were in fact supplying or intending to supply the drugs to someone else.

 

CASELAW

Sometimes you may also be found not guilty of drug supply or drug related offences if the police fail to prove that you were in exclusive possession of the drug.

In the case of Filippetti v R (1984) 13 A Crim R 335 A man lived with his girlfriend, his mother, his brother and another couple in a three bedroom house. The police found marijuana inside the lounge in the living area, a room to which all the occupants had regular access. The man’s conviction was overturned on appeal. The Court of Criminal Appeal said that it was necessary to prove that he had the drugs in his exclusive physical control, and that this was difficult because of the large number of people having equally free access to the room in which they were found.

To read more about the offence of Supply a Prohibited Drug, please visit National Criminal Lawyer’s ® dedicated page on Drug Supply 

CASE STUDY

Our client was a heavy drug user and was addicted to the drug, ice. He was friends with a lot of drug users and one of his friends was a big drug supplier of ice.

One day he was sitting with his friends smoking ice.

The supplier friend spoke to him about the potential to be a “runner” for him. Our agreed solely because he needed money. The agreement was that our client would sell the drugs on his behalf to customers. He would get a small amount of money for the delivery’s and that would assist with his drug addiction.

He completed no more than 3-4 delivery’s to customers for the sale of the drug and was paid approximately $600.00. Little did any one know was that police were covertly recording conversations and investigating the group.

There was no discussions with the supplier about how often, how much and to what the degree the drug sale was.

In the home where the supply was taken place, there was a safe which contained approximately 3kg of ice. Our client was not aware of this. In fact, there was one telephone intercept which the police did not include in their brief of evidence which showed our client asking many questions to the supplier and was not receiving adequate responses.

Police had initiated covert surveillance on the supplier for several months.

Our client was charged with large commercial quantity supply which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Our office was successful in negotiations. Our representations were accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions that our client could not be found guilty of this offence given he had not known about the quantity of the drugs.

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