7 Oct 2013

Rokas guilty on some charges

11:00 pm on 7 October 2013

The man accused of being at the head of an international drug syndicate has been found guilty of importing LSD and money laundering but acquitted of importing other drugs hidden in granite statues.

After a week-long trial in the High Court in Auckland, the jury convicted Rokas Karpavicius of hiding LSD inside a Harry Potter book and sending it to New Zealand from his former home in Spain.

He was also found guilty of money laundering after he tried to get cash couriers to smuggle the money out in their luggage.

However, jurors found him not guilty of some of the charges relating to importing the class B drug MDMA hidden inside granite statues.

They failed to come to a decision on two other charges relating to drug importing.

The Crown has two weeks to decide whether there will be a retrial on those charges.

It took jurors nine-and-a-half hours to reach their verdicts

The Crown said Karpavicius was involved in sending LSD and MDMA into New Zealand, hidden inside granite statues.

It said he also arranged for cash courier mules to smuggle his drug money out of the country.

But defence lawyer Graeme Newell said it was impossible to be sure his client was involved in the drug operation that bore similarities to a case where a man was arrested in Australia.

Karpavicius will be sentenced next month.