The one-way trip to Brazil had nothing to do with wanting to evade authorities, the alleged trafficker's defence counsel said. (File photo)
The one-way trip to Brazil had nothing to do with wanting to evade authorities, the alleged trafficker's defence counsel said. (File photo) 12019/PIXABAY

One-way ticket to Brazil bought long before drug charges

AN ACCUSED drug trafficker has convinced a court his one-way ticket to Brazil was to visit family, not flee the country.

Sunshine Coast man Victor Hugo Schoenacher was granted bail in Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday after spending more than eight months behind bars.

Mr Schoenacher's passports were confiscated after he was arrested on drug charges including trafficking marijuana.

Defence lawyer Scott Casey said his client bought the plane ticket about four months before he was arrested.

Mr Casey said the dual Australian-Brazilian citizen had only intended to visit family in South America.

"It was a planned trip...It wasn't purchased as a way of fleeing the country.”

The court also heard Mr Schoenacher had been held in custody since May last year and his sentence could be some time away.

"An indictment has not been presented yet,” Mr Casey said.

Mr Schoenacher had been detained so long, Justice Glenn Martin said without bail there was a risk he would end up spending more time in custody than if he had entered a guilty plea.

The most serious of the drug charges he faced was trafficking marijuana over roughly six months.

Justice Martin said Mr Schoenacher indicated he was going to plead guilty and he was satisfied the accused was not a flight risk.

"To leave Australia you need a passport. His passports now have been seized.”

The court heard Mr Schoenacher was next expected to face Maroochydore District Court in March. -NewsRegional


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