14 face court over one of WA's biggest meth hauls ever
Commonwealth prosecutors are being urged to speed up their case against 14 Chinese and Malaysian nationals accused of importing $200 million worth of methylamphetamine into Western Australia.
The group's dilapidated fishing boat was raided at Geraldton on the state's mid west coast in May and while no drugs were found on board, police later seized about 200kg of the drug at suburban Perth properties, alleging they were brought to shore via small watercraft.
It is the second biggest haul of methylamphetamine ever seized in the state.
When the men appeared in Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday, the prosecutor applied for an eight-week adjournment, saying it would be 20 weeks before federal police handed a committal brief to defence lawyers.
She said the document required a lot of work, involving many telephone intercepts and 150 statements.
"It's a voluminous brief," the prosecutor said.
One defence lawyer expressed concern the accused men would not stand trial until 2018, while the magistrate said they would have been in custody for six months before securing a committal date.
He suggested the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions devote greater resources to the case so it could be sped up, adding the presumption of innocence and likely desire of the men to secure bail while awaiting trial should be appreciated.
The men were remanded in custody and will next appear via videolink in the Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on October 5.