Darren Mohr refused bail over Christmas Day cocaine bust

A former Bondi cafe owner charged in connection with ‘s largest cocaine seizure – which allegedly involved rendezvous with a Chilean “mothership” – has been refused bail.
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Darren Mohr, 42, is one of more than a dozen men charged with conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, being 500 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated $360 million, following co-ordinated raids in the days after Christmas last year.

Mr Mohr, the previous owner of the Bondi Rescue HQ cafe and Bucklers cafe in North Bondi, has been in custody since his arrest on December 27, 2016.

He previously dated bikini bodybuilding champion Krissy Marsh, who told the court he could live at her Rose Bay home if he was granted bail.

Mr Mohr offered to wear an electronic ankle monitor and his father agreed to provide “significant” surety.

However, Justice Elizabeth Fullerton said those measures were not enough to convince her to grant Mr Mohr’s application for release.

Police say the syndicate, allegedly headed by commercial fishing boss Joseph “Joe” Pirrello, would attempt to send vessels out to sea to meet a larger ship carrying drug shipments from Chile.

Mr Mohr is charged over one of five alleged conspiracies, known as the “Dalrymple 1”, which police say took place between August 1 and November 5 last year.

Justice Fullerton said there was “an abundance of evidence” that he was “a principal organiser” of the planned rendezvous between the MV Dalrymple and the Chilean “mothership” in international waters in October last year. The 500 kilograms of cocaine was to have been transferred to the MV Dalrymple and bought back to the n mainland.

The October rendezvous was aborted after the two ships failed to meet and the drugs were allegedly transferred later in the year and bought ashore at Parsley Bay near Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River on Christmas Day by co-accused Simon Spero, 56.

Justice Fullerton said that, in August last year, Mr Mohr spent seven days in Chile and the following month he spent three weeks in Thailand, where a Thai resident known as “Gutterball”, said to be one of the international financiers of the conspiracy, is based.

While Mr Mohr himself is not recorded on any telephone intercepts, Justice Fullerton said his movements matched the arrangements spoken about by his co-accused.

Police allege he used encrypted BlackBerry phones to prevent his calls from being intercepted and one device was found on him when he was arrested.

Police further allege Mr Mohr provided $45,000 to pay for fuel costs for the Dalrymple and he was at the Sydney Fish Market the day the vessel left for international waters.

Justice Fullerton said Mr Mohr’s claim to have strong community ties was undermined by his “extensive international travel” in the past few years.

Further, he has the means to leave the country, rendering him a risk of fleeing the jurisdiction, she said.

She refused bail, noting it is a “strong Crown case”.

Mr Mohr’s social media accounts display a love of expensive motorcycles, exotic cars, power boats and tattoos.

Last year, he posted pictures of holidays to the Monaco Grand Prix, weight-training retreats in Thailand and a motorcycling trip across India. A luxury boat linked to him was also raided at a Double Bay dock.

He will face Central Local Court in July.

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