Prominent racing identity Damion Flower has spent his first night in custody after being charged over his alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar international drug importation syndicate.
- Racing identity Damion Flower was arrested on Thursday in connection to a drug haul running through Sydney Airport
- Police say cocaine was smuggled in on commercial flights from South Africa
- Mr Flower’s lawyer yesterday said he would plead not guilty
The horse racing industry has been rocked by the dramatic arrest of Mr Flower, who is alleged to have been involved in bringing more than 50 kilograms of cocaine into Sydney Airport.
Mr Flower is a part-owner of champion race horse Snitzel, alongside horse breeder John Messara and broadcaster Alan Jones who also hold shares in the stallion.
Mr Jones rejected any accusations he was connected to Mr Flower in any other way saying he’s had fewer than two conversations with him and only became a part-owner in the horse when Mr Flower began to sell off his shares.
“John Messara, one of the greatest authorities in the world on breeding, had recognised the stallion’s worth and proceeded to buy whatever shares became available,” Mr Jones said.
“I also bought some. Such that Damion Flower, out of 40 shares, has only one left.”
Mr Jones added that mentioning Mr Messara and himself in connection to Damion Flower was “bottom of the birdcage stuff”.
Police say Mr Flower, a 47-year-old former baggage handler, was part of a plot to smuggle drugs on commercial flights from South Africa.
He is facing six charges of importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug and did not apply for bail when he appeared at Liverpool Local Court yesterday.
Mr Flower owns shares in more than 50 racehorses as well as his own racing stable, Platinum Park, in the Hawkesbury.
Racing New South Wales says horses trained by his stable have been scratched and owner details are being checked to see if he has shares in other horses.
Racing NSW Chief Executive Peter V’landys says participants in the industry could be banned if they’re deemed to have brought the sport into disrepute.
He says the organisation has “a no-fault stand-down rule similar to the NRL” and that it rejects “nominations from anyone who we think is not acting in the best interests of racing”.
Mr Flower is also one of 12 slot holders in The Everest, one of the world’s richest turf races.
“Racing NSW also has options in regards to The Everest slot but we need to consider all the information first so that we can make informed decisions on this matter,” Mr V’landys said.
The New South Wales Crime Commission says it has commenced asset confiscation proceedings against Flower saying it has successfully obtained a restraining order in the NSW Supreme Court to freeze all of his property interests.
“The NSW Crime Commission did not seek an order to seize any race horses, however the interests Mr Flower has in any race horse will be captured by the restraining order,” the statement reads.
Source link : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-24/damion-flower-accused-of-drug-imports-owns-horse-with-alan-jones/11145410
Publish date : 2019-05-24 00:15:31