Barrack Heights man charged with drug supply granted bail

A Barrack Heights man charged with taking part in the supply of a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs was granted strict bail in Wollongong Local Court on Thursday.

Phillip Kandarakis, 49, had to enter into an agreement to forfeit $30,000 if he failed to comply with his bail conditions.

Those conditions, set by magistrate Darryl Pearce, included that Kandarakis report daily to Wollongong Police Station, surrender his passport, reside at a Wollongong address, not approach any prosecution witnesses and not go within one kilometre of any point of departure from Australian airports.

Kandarakis was arrested on Wednesday by officers attached to Strike Force Taipan, an ongoing investigation into the commercial supply of drugs in NSW.

Police from Strike Force Taipan executed a search warrant at a property on Shellharbour Road, Barrack Heights, where they seized a small amount of white powder and a container filled with an unknown liquid.

Both the powder and the liquid were safely secured before being taken to forensic facilities for testing.

Kandarakis was arrested at the property and taken to Wollongong Police Station, where he was charged with knowingly taking part in supplying a large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs and supplying an indictable quantity of prohibited drugs.

He has not yet entered pleas to the charges.

Kandarakis's defence told the court that the substance was a derivative of methorphan, a drug that came in two forms - one a cough suppressant and the other a potent opiate analgesic.

The defence lawyer said the methorphan was sourced in India and then forwarded to Sydney by a man based in Brisbane.

He said Kandarakis was intending to test the substance to check for its suitability to add to a salt mix for cows.

The substance was checked and approved at Sydney by Customs officers, the lawyer told the court, who found it was dextromethorphan, which was not a prohibited substance.

The court heard that Kandarakis had been jailed 20 years ago in relation to a charge of supplying a prohibited drug (heroin).

Kandarakis's arrest follows the arrests of 10 people and the seizure of firearms, cash and a large quantity of drugs by Strike Force Taipan detectives last Friday. The investigation by Strike Force Taipan, which consists of detectives from the State Crime Command's Organised Crime Squad and officers from the NSW Crime Commission, is continuing.

Kandarakis will reappear in court on June 4.

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