OFF THE WIRE
BY: Mark Oberhardt
A FORMER Gold Coast drug kingpin was today ordered to pay the state government more than $8.5million in penalty and interest under a proceeds of crime application.
It was the latest court judgment in a long running battle by the government to recoup money from Charles Edward Cannon, 52, a former Finks motorcycle gang member, which dates back nearly a decade.
In 2003, the Crime and Misconduct Commission made an application against Cannon who was jailed for 12 years and eight months after a Supreme Court jury found him guilty of trafficking and producing large amounts of methylamphetamine between 1995 and 2003.
In April this year, Justice Peter Applegarth assessed the value of Cannon's activities at $4.2 million.
He said he assessed the market value of the methylamphetamine that was likely to have been produced and sold as a result of the respondent carrying on the business of unlawfully trafficking in a dangerous drug during a period before February 7 2003.
His assessment was based on evidence in relation to the market value of ephedrine and methylamphetamine at the time the drug trafficking occurred, and evidence about the amounts that were ordinarily paid at the relevant time for these illegal drugs.
Justice Applegarth said the parties were unable to agree in relation to the appropriate costs orders and, as a result, he made directions for written submissions.
Then in August Justice Applegarth ruled the assessment of costs should follow the ordinary course.
He ordered Cannon pay the government's costs costs of and incidental to the proceeding, including any reserved costs, on the standard basis.
However, on the matter of interest Justice Applegarth noted he made his assessment of the proceeds by reference to historic rather than present values.
Justice Applegarth then adjourned to allow for submissions on the decline in the value of money between the time the proceeds were derived and the date the proceeds assessment order was formally made.
After receiving those submissions Justice Applegarth made a formal order today that Cannon pay $4,200,000 and also $4,319,694 in interest.
Cannon must also pay the government's costs.