Heroin trafficker splurged $1.1 mn on luxuries

March 17th, 2011 - 7:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, March 17 (IANS) An Australian man, who changed his name to sound like the Italian luxury brand Versace and splurged 1.1 million dollars on luxury cars, designer bags, jewellery and holidays, has been convicted of trafficking heroin.

The sentencing of Christian Paul Versac, 40, began in the Queensland Supreme Court Thursday afternoon.

Versac was found guilty Dec 20 of trafficking heroin in Queensland’s southeast over 16 months from early 2005. Besides, he was found guilty of six related charges including the possession of drugs, cash and a machine to compress heroin, AAP reported.

The Brisbane court, during the trial, heard that Christian Paul Versac amassed about $1.1 million through his drug trade, using the cash to support his luxurious lifestyle.

After his arrest in May 2006, a police search of Versac’s apartment at Spring Hill, in inner-city Brisbane, found a vast quantity of luxury goods, including jewellery and designer bags, a Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and a Harley-Davidson motorbike, the court was told.

Officers also found $10,000 stashed inside a computer and drugs inside the apartment.

A further $653,000 was allegedly found, along with Versac’s passport, in the ceiling cavity of a Gold Coast townhouse where one of his friends was living.

Following a run-in with police in 2005, the man, originally named Paul Monkman, changed his name to Versac.

During the hearing Thursday, before Justice Peter Lyons, prosecutor Ben Power said Versac was selling an ounce of heroin almost every three days but it was unclear where he was positioned in the drug trade.

“We don’t precisely know where he stood on the chain. What we do know is that he amassed a vast sum of money in a very short period of time.”

Power called for Versac to be jailed for more than 10 years.

Versac pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintains he raised money through loan brokering and offering counter-surveillance advice.

The sentencing continues.

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