Cocaine bust accused appear in court

Deni Cavallo, Matthew Scott, Benjamin Northway and Mario Habulin will appear in the Tauranga High Court today. Photo: Sam Gardner.

Four men arrested as part of New Zealand's largest cocaine bust will appear at the Tauranga High Court today.

Matthew Scott, 44, Deni Cavallo, 46, Benjamin Northway, 35, and Mario Habulin, 46, all face charges related to possession for the supply of cocaine, possession for the supply of methamphetamine, import and export of cocaine and participation in an organised criminal group.

A five-month long operation by Customs and police led to the discovery of estimated 46 kilograms of cocaine, with a street value of around NZ$20 million ($450 per gram), which was seized from an address in Tauranga at the beginning of last month.

Today's appearance will involve police presenting a submission to the courts to have the case transferred to Auckland, where police says a majority of the charges originate from.

Defence lawyers for all men oppose the transfer.

The men made their first appearance at the Tauranga High Court in early November.

None of the accused applied for bail and all were remanded in custody.


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