A skipper who admitted to amassing round 200kg of cocaine from a container ship off the coast of Sydney has learnt his destiny after telling a courtroom he solely did it as a result of threats had been made to his household.
Jake Laurens Hurkmans, 29, confronted the NSW District Courtroom on Friday after pleading responsible to possessing a industrial amount of an illegal border-controlled drug and being reckless with the proceeds of a criminal offense.
Decide Kate Traill informed the courtroom she took under consideration the regret, remorse and embarrassment Hurkmans had proven following the offending in addition to the non-exculpatory duress he endured when he tried to again out.
PLAN TO TRANSPORT MONEY
The courtroom was informed the South Australian man was put into contact with a person named Alex by means of a diving good friend and was informed Alex was on the lookout for “somebody with building expertise”.
After a collection of conferences, the pair spoke about future work collectively and Alex mentioned he needed somebody to “take a giant bag of cash out to sea”.
Hurkmans initially rejected Alex’s provide as he was suspicious the request was unlawful, however he was later contacted by Alex once more firstly of 2020 and informed he couldn’t discover anybody else skilled sufficient to sort out the job.
With the Covid-19 pandemic starting to set in, Hurkmans was shedding work and agreed to do the job when Alex promised him $50,000, the courtroom was informed.
Alex purchased Hurkmans a Kingfisher boat, which the 29-year-old needed to choose up from Sydney himself.
“When he heard the boat was going to be bought in his identify he was scared as a result of he hadn’t supplied any particulars and began to suppose he was getting in means over his head,” Decide Traill informed the courtroom.
“He determined he would do it as soon as and wouldn’t do it once more.”
The courtroom was informed Hurkmans didn’t suppose the job was about medication at this level, solely that he could be transferring cash.
On March 7, 2021, he rented a automotive from Adelaide and drove the fishing boat to Kurnell in Sydney’s south the place he stayed at a beachside cabin and likewise leased a storage unit for one week.
CHANGE OF PLANS
Hurkmans then obtained messages saying there had been a “mistake” and he was meant to “carry some issues again” from the ship, the courtroom was informed.
“He mentioned, ‘that’s not occurring, I don’t need to be concerned’ … packed up his gear, left the boat the place it was and made the choice to depart,” Decide Traill informed the courtroom.
“He messaged the lads saying ‘you realize the place the bag and the boat is, I’m not staying’ however his cellphone saved going off as he started to drive to Adelaide.”
Decide Traill informed the courtroom that Hurkmans had been despatched a collection of messages and images from three totally different males, together with Alex, telling him he didn’t have a alternative.
THREATS TO FAMILY
Hurkmans then obtained an image of the entrance of his dad and mom’ home and one other picture of his accomplice and canine, the courtroom was informed.
“Accidents can occur at any level to these you care about and doing what we’re asking you to do is an effective way to keep away from these accidents,” a message accompanying the photographs mentioned.
The 29-year-old froze, was petrified, and took the messages as a menace.
He determined to show round and went again to the boat somewhat than going to police and asking for assist, the courtroom was informed.
About 2.45am on March 11, Hurkmans took the boat to the Hawkesbury Park boat ramp on the Royal Nationwide Park and travelled up the Georges River in direction of Botany Bay.
He travelled to the GPS location he was given as a 330m container ship handed him and dropped 11 buoyant containers into the ocean for him to select up.
It took Hurkmans two hours to gather the containers earlier than travelling again to Botany Bay the place he was arrested by police.
He instantly informed police of the threats to his household, and AFP officers had been despatched to their houses in Adelaide to verify they had been all proper, the courtroom was informed.
In the meantime, police discovered 11 containers, every with a sports activities bag inside that had bricks of cocaine wrapped in plastic.
Police discovered 199 bricks, which equated to 199.1kg of cocaine with a pure weight of 155.1kg.
In addition they discovered $520,000 in money within the storage unit.
Decide Traill informed the courtroom that Hurkmans acknowledged he was “naive to not suppose it was greater than substantial unlawful actions” and suspected he was “means over his head”.
Decide Traill discovered Hurkmans had offended as a result of he was beneath “non-exculpatory duress” because of the threats on his household.
Whereas he tried to withdraw from the prison enterprise, Decide Traill mentioned he noticed the images with the implied menace and felt he was “too concerned” to go to police.
“The offender raised considerations for his household with police on the time of the arrest,” she mentioned.
“There isn’t a verbatim account of what he mentioned – they weren’t being held hostage however clearly he had considerations for his household because of the threats.”
The decide didn’t settle for the Crown prosecutor’s remarks that Hurkmans “made it up” so he might “persuade his household he had not accomplished the flawed factor”.
The courtroom was informed Hurkmans didn’t have a “medial” position within the drug community, because the “Crown have no idea the entire nature of the prison enterprise and it’s troublesome to determine his position within the hierarchy”.
Decide Traill mentioned the 29-year-old was being “utilised” by others and was being informed what to do.
She discovered he was not a “subtle offender”, as he didn’t try to hide his identification when reserving the storage container and cabin.
“He knew what he was doing was unlawful nevertheless it was solely day earlier than the offending he was informed he needed to choose issues up from the ship … that he realised it was most likely medication,” Decide Traill mentioned.
“The first motivation on the day was threats and considerations for the household and himself, nevertheless it wasn’t his sole motivation.”
Hurkmans was sentenced to a time period of imprisonment of 11 years, backdated to his arrest in March 2021 with a non parole interval of six years and 6 months.
He might be eligible for parole on September 10, 2027.
Initially revealed as Jake Hurkmans learns destiny for possessing 200kg of cocaine in boat bust