Bail has been granted under strict conditions to a Brazilian man arrested in Christchurch and charged with possession of cocaine for supply.
Thiago Augusto De Oliveira, a 31-year-old factory hand, has been in custody since his first appearance in the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday.
He was among several people arrested this week over an alleged cocaine importation and dealing ring.
Duty lawyer Peter Doody today applied for bail for De Oliveira at his appearance before Judge Christopher Somerville. He said police concerns could be met by imposing a series of bail conditions.
Judge Somerville remanded De Oliveira on bail to April 3 on conditions that he live at a specified address in Christchurch, not contact the alleged co-offenders, surrender his passport – that is already held by the police – and not apply for travel documents.
The judge ordered him to come to the door of the property if the police arrived to check that he was there.
Another of those arrested in Christchurch, Josue Da Conceicao, aged 36, of Linwood, was remanded to the same date on charges of importing and possession of cocaine.
Defence counsel Ruth Buddicom asked for the remand in the District Court until more details are available from the police, rather than having the case sent to the High Court.
Da Conceicao was not applying for bail. A Portugese interpreter was in court to assist him.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Jeff Kay said the police did not oppose the remands, and the cases remaining in the District Court in the meantime.
Police have indicated they may later have the cases brought together in Auckland to be dealt with.
The third man charged in Christchurch, Marcos Andre Barbosa, a 35-year-old labourer from Linwood, has already been remanded to March 20, in custody, on charges of importing and possessing cocaine.
A fourth man has been charged in Auckland.