Superyacht tour operator James Blee backflips on freedom bid
An eccentric Superyacht tour operator accused of importing 108kg of cocaine has backflipped on a decision to apply for bail.
James Blee, also known as Jimmy, was arrested in Cairns on May 11 as he prepared to board a one-way flight to Singapore.
Two days earlier the body of professional Brazilian diver Bruno Borges, 31, was found in water near the Port of Newcastle, surrounded by an estimated $20 million worth of cocaine.
Bricks of the drug were found wrapped in plastic packaging floating near Mr Borges’ body and police retrieved an additional 50 kilograms of the sea chest from a nearby Argentinian cargo ship.
Police have alleged that Mr Blee, 62, travelled from Indonesia to Darwin with Mr Borges and another man in the days prior to the death and discovery of the cocaine.
It’s further alleged Mr Blee and Mr Borges were filmed on CCTV buying top of the range diving equipment from a Newcastle diving shop.
Mr Blee, who resides in the Cairns suburb of Manoora, has been charged with importing 108kg of cocaine and supplying the same amount.
He has entered no pleas and remains remanded in custody at NSW prison following his extradition from Queensland.
Mr Blee’s case was mentioned briefly on Friday at Sydney’s Central Local Court where he was listed to apply for release on bail.
Defence lawyer Alex Somers told the court an application for bail would no longer be made and he did not provide a reason for the change of plan.
Magistrate Susan Horan adjourned the case to July 13.
After his arrest Mr Blee told journalists he regretted the situation he was in.
“I’d like to apologise to my friends and family for the general situation I’ve put them in at the moment,” he said.
“The judicial process will show the end result and what’s going to happen, but that fact it got to this stage, I am very very sorry.”
Originally published as Superyacht tour operator James Blee backflips on freedom bid
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