Cocaine accused plead not guilty

Deni Cavallo, Matthew Scott, Benjamin Northway and Mario Habulin in court during their last appearance. Photo: Sam Gardner.

The four men arrested following a $20 million cocaine bust in Tauranga are denying the charges.

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.

The four appeared in Tauranga District Court today where they pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The men were arrested following 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.

The bust is described as the largest ever cocaine haul in New Zealand.

All four will remain behind bars until March 6.


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