Two-time Olympic silver medalist in kayaking Nathan Baggali was sentenced to 25 years in prison for attempting to smuggle drugs worth about $ 147 million. This was reported by the ABC TV channel.
A similar sentence was given to his younger brother Drew by a court decision in Brisbane. The brothers tried to carry out a commercial shipment of 650 kilograms of cocaine on a boat, having received a cargo from a foreign ship. After the chase, they were stopped by a patrol boat of the Australian Navy, the violators were handed over to the police.
Baggali’s lawyer claimed that Nathan and Drew did not know that they were transporting the drug. According to the defense, the defendants were sure that there was tobacco in the packages. Nevertheless, the court concluded that the men took an active part in the smuggling operation and had their own benefits. The 45-year-old Olympic medalist will have to spend 12 years in prison before he can apply for parole, and his brother-16 years.
Baggali was caught with cocaine in May last year. The athlete agreed with an international drug cartel in South America to supply the drug to Australia. For transportation, he purchased an inflatable boat and named it “Medellin” in honor of the Colombian city where Pablo Escobar operated. In April 2021, a jury found him guilty of committing a crime.
The brothers were already convicted and jailed in 2009 for making a large batch of ecstasy tablets, in 2015 they were again in prison on drug trafficking charges.