13 Jul 2012

Plea swap in Cooks drugs trial

10:46 am on 13 July 2012

Three defendants in the Cook Islands' largest ever drugs trial have changed their plea to guilty.

Inano Matapo, who was a senior sergeant in the police, has pleaded guilty to one charge of selling cannabis.

She also pleaded guilty to two charges of corruptly disclosing information she acquired in her official capacity.

Giovanni Marsters has pleaded guilty to three charges of selling cannabis and four charges of offering to supply cannabis, including to an undercover policeman.

Samuel Tangaroa, a postal worker who used to intercept drug parcels before police dogs could detect them, pleaded guilty to one charge each of selling cannabis, offering to supply cannabis, conspiring to import cannabis and importing cannabis seeds.

The three have been remanded until sentencing next week.

Initially police laid 70 criminal charges against 13 defendants as a result of the year-long investigation, which involved 11 New Zealand detectives.