Former saleyards director sentenced to 27 years' jail for conspiring to import cocaine

Canberra region businessman, Rohan Peter Arnold, sentenced to 27 years' jail for conspiring to import 1.28 tonnes of cocaine

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Rohan Peter Arnold was sentenced in the NSW District Court on Friday.

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Rohan Peter Arnold, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to import 1.28 tonnes of cocaine in May 2019. Picture: radfordcollegians.com.au

Rohan Peter Arnold, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to import 1.28 tonnes of cocaine in May 2019. Picture: radfordcollegians.com.au

A prominent Canberra region businessman who admitted to conspiring to import 1.28 tonnes of cocaine has been sentenced to a maximum 27 years' jail.

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Rohan Peter Arnold was apprehended during a dramatic gunpoint arrest in a Serbian hotel in January 2018, and extradited to Australia in March 2018 along with two alleged co-conspirators.

About a year before he was extradited, Australian Border Force officers intercepted the massive cocaine haul in Sydney, which was hidden inside hollow prefabricated steel on a container boat.

The drugs had an estimated street value of up to $500 million.

Arnold pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiring to import a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug in May 2019. Prosecutors abandoned another four charges against him.

Arnold's guilty plea came almost eight months after he made an unsuccessful application for bail in the NSW Supreme Court.

In the NSW District Court on Friday, Justice Jane Culver sentenced Arnold to a maximum 27 years' jail - backdated to start on January 16, 2018, and end on January 15, 2045.

Arnold will be eligible for parole on July 15, 2037, after 19 years and six months' imprisonment.

He was removed as a director of South Eastern Livestock Exchange in 2019, which is owned by Yass mayor Rowena Abbey and her husband Brendan Abbey.

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