Dramatic moment Olympian’s brother arrested at gunpoint
Video of the dramatic adrenaline-filled arrest at gunpoint of a Queensland man by elite police at sea, has been shown to the jury in the trial of a former Olympic kayaker and his brother accused of trying to smuggle $200m worth of cocaine into Australia.
On the third day of the trial in the Supreme Court in Brisbane today, Prosecutor Sophie Harburg played a video to the jury showing Coolangatta fishmonger Dru Anthony Baggaley, 39, putting his hands behind head after four rifle-toting and balaclava wearing Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) officers boarded the rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) on which he was a passenger July 31, 2018.
The officers, wearing all black, boarded the RHIB after it was intercepted at high speed 65 nautical miles off the coast from Byron Bay, at about 5pm, the jury was told.
Brisbane Water Police Senior Sergeant Jay Bairstow told the jury that the video was recorded on his phone as he drove the large black rigid inflatable police boat Casey Blain at 50 knots toward the RHIB.
"We were travelling at 50 knots, that vessel was travelling at speed, so our intercept took less than a minute, stopping its path yet coming alongside," Snr Sgt Bairstow told the jury.
After Dru Baggaley was arrested, along with the RHIB skipper Anthony Draper, the pair were taken on board the Casey Blaine to meet up with the "mothership", a larger police boat, the W. Conroy, and were taken back to the Gold Coast, Mr Bairstow told the jury.
Dru and his older brother Nathan, 45, a former Olympic kayaker, have pleaded not guilty to attempting to import a commercial quantity of cocaine into Australia in Coolangatta and elsewhere between December 16, 2017 and August 2, 2018.
Prosecutors allege Nathan had a "key role" in aiding Dru's attempted cocaine importation by buying the powerful $106,700 boat, a $7000 navigation system and a satellite phone, and was waiting at Brunswick Heads boat ramp in northern NSW ready to receive the drugs on their return to shore.
Dru is alleged to have picked up more than 650kg of cocaine dropped overboard from a foreign ship 360km offshore at about 9.30am on July 31.
Two hours after the pick-up the pair were spotted by Navy patrol boat Cape Fourcroy which attempted to intercept them as they sped back to shore.
"I am an Australian defence vessel, I intend to board you, you are to stop or heave to," then-Naval officer Gideon Watkin announced over the marine radio, he told the jury in earlier evidence.
Mr Watkin said he told the RHIB a second time over the radio and a loudhailer that if they did not stop he would be forced to fire warning shots in front of their bow.
Dru is alleged to have hurled the cocaine packages overboard and ordered Draper to carry on driving the vessel.
The Cape Fourcroy then stopped to retrieve 30 packages alleged to contain cocaine from the sea.
Hours later the RHIB was intercepted by the SERT team in the police RHIB Casey Blain.
Unbeknown to Dru and Draper, they were being watched by above by three planes - a maritime surveillance plane from government contractor Cobham Aviation, a RAAF AP-3C Orion plane doing surveillance for the Australian Border Force and a police aircraft, the jury were told.
The trial before Justice Ann Lyons, which is set to run for seven days, continues today.
Originally published as Dramatic moment Olympian's brother arrested at gunpoint