Drug kingpin sentenced to 30 years

Drug kingpin sentenced to 30 years

About to learn his fate… Tony Mokbel arrives at court this morning. Tony Mokbel leaves court after the sentencing.

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Drug boss Tony Mokbel was today jailed for a minimum of 22 years for masterminding a multi-million dollar drug trafficking empire.

Supreme Court Justice Simon Whelan said Mokbel had shown “an arrogant contempt for the law and an incorrigible determination to persist in serious business-like drug trafficking regardless of the circumstances or possible consequences for yourself or others”.

Justice Whelan said drug trafficking had been Mokbel’s business.

“It was your area of expertise,” he said. “It was your career.”

Justice Whelan said he did not believe Mokbel was sorry for what he had done.

“Thing have not turned out as you planned, and no doubt you now regret that, but to describe such feelings of regret as remorse is, I think, misconceived.”

Mokbel had told a psychologist he would like to apologise to the community and to the courts for his crimes and that he recognised “dealing in drugs was wrong and that it caused damage to a lot of people”.

The judge jailed Mokbel for a total of 30 years with a non-parole period of 22 years, less 347 days for time already served.

Mokbel will be eligible for parole when he is 67 years old.

Justice Whelan said he would have jailed Mokbel for life without parole if he had not pleaded guilty to the drug charges he faced.

Medical evidence had been given that Mokbel had a life expectancy of 24 years or less because of his coronary heart disease. Mokbel suffered a minor heart attack at Barwon Prison in February.

The judge, whose sentencing remarks were streamed live via video on the internet for the first time in Victoria, said a psychological report revealed that that while Mokbel had shown a “remarkable degree of psychological resilience to date”, he was experiencing a range of physical manifestations of anxiety.

As he was being led from courtroom four, a smiling Mokbel winked and said “See you guys” to the media.

He had earlier stood in the dock flanked by five security guards yawning a number of times as he waited for the judge.

Mokbel pleaded guilty in April last year to charges of trafficking large commercial quantities of methamphetamine and MDMA, and inciting an undercover policeman to import a commercial quantity of MDMA.

He made millions through The Company, which he ran like a legitimate business with records being kept on a computer.

The charges stemmed from three separate investigations code-named Orbital, Quills and Magnum.

In Magnum, The Company distributed at least 47 kilograms of methamphetamine (speed) between January 2006 and June 2007 with a wholesale value of about $4.7 million. The street value was worth much more.

A plea deal led to charges in relation to four other investigations into his drug manufacturing empire to be dropped, and the prosecution also agreed to seek a non-parole period of between 20 to 23 years.

Mokbel’s ex-girlfriend, Danielle McGuire, who has reportedly restricted him from seeing his youngest child, Renate, was not in court for his sentencing today.

McGuire left the drug boss for Bandidos sergeant-in-arms Toby Mitchell.

She had been living with Mokbel in Athens in 2007 and the then six-month-old Renate when he was arrested.

McGuire had fled her Melbourne beauty salon and moved overseas in July 2006, four months after Mokbel had disappeared.

He had fled Melbourne just days before he was to be convicted in the Supreme Court for cocaine trafficking. He was later sentenced in his absence to 12 years jail.

Mokbel had been hiding out in a farmhouse in the Victorian country town of Bonnie Doon before taking a yacht from Western Australia to Greece.

He was arrested at an Athens cafe in June 2007 carrying a forged Australian passport and a fake NSW driver’s licence in the name of Stephen Papas, of Albion Street, Bondi.

In each ID photo, he was wearing the same ill-fitting toupee he had on when police swooped.

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