Mark Standen was one of Australia's most senior drug investigators and rotten to the core. His official title was Assistant Director of Investigations for the NSW Crime Commission. He was paid $200,000 for information from Customs about drug seizures on the docks. On Wednesday, the 54 year old father of four was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and guilty of plotting to import 300 kilograms of pseudoephedrine, used to make speed and ice, worth $120 million.
Standen hatched the daring plan with his business partner and friend Bakhos "Bill" Jalalaty and British-born James Kinch and agreed to help import the drugs for a big slice of the profits. But because of his senior position, he was over-confident and never expected Kinch to turn police informant and was stunned when under-cover cops told him he was under arrest and asked "Is this a wind up?"
The trial was expected to last about three months but it dragged on for nearly five. The jury almost mutinied and wrote a stern letter to the judge and lawyers on both sides about how the lengthy trial had impacted badly on their lives.
Standen has been in protective custody for three years and will be sentenced on September 1.