Busted Ex-Bank Exec Now Done Over Ecstasy

Talk about kicking a man when he's down. 42 year-old Ian Chalmers, variously described as a former head of sales and / or trading over at Macquarie Bank in Australia, has been banged up for months awaiting sentencing after being found guilty last year of conspiring to import cocaine with the help of baggage handlers at Sydney Airport in 2005, has now pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of supplying ecstasy. The offense is said to have come to light when investigators were intercepting Chalmers' phone calls.

Chalmers is already facing the prospect of a life behind bars for his role in a US$3.88m cocaine importation plan, which was hatched in 2005 but never carried out as the conspirators worried that there was a mole at work somewhere in their crew (and they were correct).

The former banker was found guilty of booking, paying for and delivering a business class ticket to a drug courier who was allegedly to go off to Argentina to collect the drugs. This is all alleged to have been part of a wider conspiracy involving the late organised crime boss Michael Hurley and also Australian drug 'king-pin' Sean North, who remains at large on the run from authorities.

Chalmers pleaded not guilty to the charges, claiming that he was an unwitting pawn in the affair, and was unaware that drugs were involved. Authorities, however, are said to have had a tape of North on the telephone describing Chalmers as his 'partner in crime' and telling the banker that 'there might be like 30 or 40 million on the way'.

The former bank executive will now be sentenced for both crimes when he next appears in court on May 4th.

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