Serious additional charges for an alleged $360 million cocaine haul have been laid against former Parramatta Eels player Aukuso Junior Paulo and Kigi Kamuta, who were arrested in dramatic scenes in Sydney last week.
The two men were arrested alongside another former Eels player, Royce Hura, 27, in a police operation in Centennial Park where officers used stun grenades to subdue the men.
Large amounts of cash and two hand guns were found on the scene.
On Thursday, the group were charged with the possession of two unauthorized semi-automatic pistols, $649,990 in cash alleged to have been the proceeds of crime and participating in a criminal group.
Police arrested and charged a fourth man related to the same investigation on Friday.
Paulo, 34, and Kamuta, 39, are now also accused of supplying 900 kilograms of cocaine, with a potential street value of $360 million, according to police.
“These are significant and serious drug charges,” Detective Superintendent Tony Cooke of the NSW Police said.
“There are nine hundred kilograms of cocaine which will not reach the streets of Sydney.”
The extra charges, which were laid on Monday, took Paulo’s lawyer by surprise on Tuesday in the Central Local court.
“It’s more regrettable that were were only informed of the new charge today,” defence lawyer Nick Hanna said.
Mr Hanna withdrew a bail application he was to submit for his client.
The barrister for his fellow retired Eel’s player, whose charges were not upgraded, went forward with Mr Hura’s bail application.
Barrister Arjun Chhabra said it could only be proven that Hura was just “merely the driver of the vehicle”.
Hura was denied bail and all three suspects will remain in custody until court.
The cases will return to court in February.