P trial told of sex pills

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Jared Savage

Published on: Jul 19, 2015 | Last Updated: Jul 19, 2015 Sunday 9:50 PM

An undercover agent socialised in the VIP lounge at SkyCity casino to gain the confidence of suspected drug dealers - including a conversation where they discussed how to spot an undercover agent and sexual performance pills containing "tiger testicles".

The secret witness with the assumed name of Joe Arama told the jury in the Auckland District Court on Friday about how he infiltrated the alleged drug dealing syndicate during Operation Ghost.

The undercover officer said his police "handler" had tasked him with building a relationship with Felix Lim, a Malaysian man in his late 50s earlier described in court as being on the "periphery" of a pseudoephedrine dealing network.

Arama posed as an underworld figure seeking to buy drugs to on-sell and wore a hidden audio device to record conversations with Lim and associates alleged to be distributing the Class-B drug used to make methamphetamine.

Some of these meetings took place in the VIP lounge at SkyCity casino, where Lim took Arama as his guest. There he was introduced to "Baldy Mark" and Arama said the conversation later turned to "how to spot an undercover agent".

"Did you assist them in that?" asked Crown prosecutor Scott McColgan.

"No, but they advised me to be suspicious of Asians," Arama replied. He continued to build rapport with Lim and told the jury Lim said "Baldy Mark" could supply an ounce of methamphetamine for $13,000 and 10 "sets" of ContacNT for $93,000.

Pseudoephedrine can be extracted from ContacNT, a cold and flu medicine sold in China, and sold by the "set" - 223g of the pink and yellow granules from 1000 capsules. A deal was struck for half the amount - Arama would pay $46,500 for five sets or 1.1kg.

After meeting at the 277 mall in Newmarket, Lim drove Arama to the home of "Baldy Mark" in Ellerslie where the cash and parcels of drugs were eventually exchanged.

"Baldy Mark" was identified by Arama as See Meng Hoo, sitting in the dock with Chee Eng Tan, Jason Ng, Chao Ksiung Ku and Saman Ahmad Khanbigy, charged with pseudoephedrine and methamphetamine offences.

Arama said Hoo believed his supplier had a 500kg stockpile of pseudoephedrine and talked about supplying a gang member in Tauranga.

Hoo also talked of smuggling cheap methamphetamine from Malaysia and his family ties to a police officer there, Arama told the court.

Under questioning from Hoo's lawyer John Moroney, Arama said other money making ventures were discussed.

This included getting expensive European cars from a bankrupt business in Malaysia and selling them cheaply here, as well as herbal pills with the "same effect as Viagra". Arama said they were made from "ginseng and tiger testicles".

Mr Moroney asked the undercover officer if the pills were called "tongkat ali", a term he didn't recall. He was also asked by Mr Moroney about moneylending at the casino, but replied that Lim had never talked about that.

Earlier in the trial, Detective Sergeant Mike Beal told the jury Operation Ghost had a "geographical focus" on SkyCity casino where millions of dollars were gambled by some of those under surveillance.

- NZ Herald

Copyright 2015, NZME. Publishing Limited


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