Drug lord’s wife Kristen Moukhallaletti refused bail over ‘unacceptable risk’of interfering with witnes

Flag of Australia.svgDECEMBER 18 2016 – 9:24PM

Kate McClymont

A woman who was caught allegedly threatening her drug lord husband’s co-accused as well as laundering the proceeds of his crimes has claimed she will lose her job with the Department of Family and Community Services if she does not get bail.

In 2014 Kristen Moukhallaletti’s husband Sam, the head of a major drug syndicate, was arrested as he was about to board a cruise ship to Vanuatu. He was travelling under the alias Sam Bridges.

Kristen Moukhallaletti.

The quantities of the drugs ice and ecstasy seized by police were so large that Sam Moukhallaletti was facing the prospect of life in jail if convicted.

His other charges included directing the activities of a criminal group and dealing with the suspected proceeds of crime.

Kristen Moukhallaletti was arrested in November.

Police asked that bail be refused because he had previously breached bail while facing other charges. They also said phone taps and visual surveillance had revealed his connection to the Rebels bikie gang and that the availability of large sums of money and access to weapons made him a potential threat to witnesses.

However, because his eyesight was so bad that his lawyers had to read to him the voluminous police brief of evidence, Sam Moukhallaletti was granted bail in April 2015. His bail conditions prevented him from communicating with any of his co-accused.

Instead, a Sydney court has heard that a few months later it was his wife Kristen who went to Silverwater jail to allegedly pass a message from her husband to his co-accused.

The co-accused later told police that her husband wanted him to make a false statement about the ownership of drugs and firearms police had seized.Police at Kristen Moukhallaletti's Theresa Park property.

Mrs Moukhallaletti, 36, also talked about the co-accused’s family. Her recent bail hearing was told police will allege that this was an “implied threat”.

When the co-accused was moved to a different and jail and did not appear by an audio-visual link for a court mention, Mrs Moukhallaletti visited him the following day.Police outside the Theresa Park home.

She allegedly said: “You have to look at it from our point of view. It looks like you’ve rolled.” She also allegedly said he would not be paid until he had made the false statement.

In November 2015 police arrested both Mr and Mrs Moukhallaletti as they returned to their Theresa Park home in Sydney’s south after a brief court appearance by Mr Moukhallaletti.

Mrs Moukhallaletti was charged over her prison visit and her husband was charged with additional money laundering offences relating to a private plane seized at Albion Park aerodrome in 2014 which was allegedly used by an international cartel to bring MDMA into Australia.

The plane formed part of a joint investigation by NSW police and US Homeland Security.

On September 9, 2016 Sam Moukhallaletti pleaded guilty. His is yet to be sentenced. Five days later Mrs Moukhallaletti was arrested and charged for allegedly trying to get her hands on proceeds from her husband’s crimes.

Her bail application heard that her husband has, “as a result of his highly profitable dealing in prohibited drugs”, access to substantial amounts of cash and very significant assets, including real estate and aeroplanes which have been used to transport the drugs internationally.

But before the NSW Crime Commission could slap a restraining order on the real estate interests, one of their Theresa Park properties, held through a front company, was sold for $1.5 million.

Mrs Moukhallaletti is alleged to have conspired with an associate to put $170,000 from the sale into his bank account and to claim it was part of a “business agreement”.

Police phone taps indicate that the pair discussed the need to get their stories straight as to the provenance of the $170,000.

The court also heard about the involvement of an unnamed solicitor who had met the “business” associate in a park. Justice Richard Button noted that it was “highly unusual for a solicitor of this Court to conduct a conference in such a place” and that “a person might do so in order to minimise the risk of electronic interception of such a conversation.”

Mrs Moukhallaletti was refused bail on November 14.

She then appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeal. On Friday Justice Button refused to grant her bail on the grounds she had “committed a serious offence” while on bail and that there was “an unacceptable risk” that she might attempt to interfere with the former business associate who has now become a prosecution witness.

 

Source : Canberra Times

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