Drug raid led to chance discovery of body – The Age

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When police raided a clandestine drug laboratory on a property at St Leonards, on the Bellarine Peninsula, they found the remains of nightclub promoter Yengo Faugere, a court has heard.
The remains were in a barrel on the back of a Nissan Navara ute.
Mr Faugere, 23, had been the cook for a large and sophisticated drug trafficking operation making methamphetamines.
Matthew Lowe, 24, pleaded not guilty in the Victorian Supreme Court on Tuesday to kidnapping and murdering Mr Faugere in October 2011.
In his opening address to the jury, Crown prosecutor Daryl Brown said Brok Seckold had been the operation's chief executive and Mr Lowe his right hand man and flatmate.
Mr Faugere had been hired by Mr Seckold to cook methamphetamines, known as meth or ice, at a clandestine drug laboratory in Canterbury before police discovered it by chance in July 2011.
A real estate agent had gone to check on the property after the rent had not been paid and found the lab.
Police found 14 glass jars containing 978.6 grams of pure methamphetamine on the floor of a rear bedroom.
Mr Brown said Mr Seckold suffered a significant financial loss over the discovery of the lab and watched the media coverage of the find with Mr Lowe at their Reservoir apartment.
When police decided not to tell the media that they had found a large quantity of liquid methamphetamine in the jars, Mr Seckold assumed they must have been stolen before the raid and he suspected Mr Faugere.
Mr Seckold believed Mr Faugere had stolen the drugs, tipped off police to cover up the theft and was planning to make his own ice.
Mr Brown told the jury this belief motivated Mr Seckold to kidnap and murder Mr Faugere either to find out what had happened to his drugs or to punish him for stealing them.
The prosecutor said Mr Seckold then formed a criminal enterprise with Mr Lowe and Mr Lowe's cousin, Peter Tiberi, and possibly others, to kill Mr Faugere.
Mr Brown said the prosecution case against Mr Lowe was circumstantial but he was part of the criminal enterprise involved in the kidnapping and murder of Mr Faugere.
At one stage Mr Seckold asked his main drug cook, Daniel Martin, the best way to dissolve a body. Mr Martin did some internet research and came up with sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda.
Mr Brown said Mr Lowe bought the Nissan Navara ute, which was later found at the St Leonards property, in October 2011, for $1500 cash using a fake NSW driver's licence.
The next day Mr Lowe and Mr Tiberi hired a Toyota HiAce van from a car rental business in Essendon which had secretly installed GPS devices on their cars so they would know where their cars were if they were not returned.
Police later used the GPS records to track the van's movements, revealing it was parked near Mr Faugere's Maribyrnong home at 2am on October 20, 2011, before being driven off more than two and a half hours later.
The prosecution case was that Mr Faugere had been kidnapped during this time before being driven to Mansfield and killed.
Mr Seckold and other gang members then bought a boat for $7500 with the intention of dumping Mr Faugere's remains in the bay, according to Mr Brown.
Months later, between December 2011 and January 2012, Mr Seckold, whom Mr Brown described as the captain of the ship responsible for financing the drug operation, co-ordinating the gang's activities and giving the orders, set up the drug laboratory at St Leonards with Mr Martin becoming the "hands-on" cook.
Defence barrister Damian Sheales said there was no evidence linking Mr Lowe to the kidnap or murder.
Mr Sheales said the prosecution did not know the cause, time or circumstances of the death or who was present.
The trial, before Justice Cameron Macaulay, continues.
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