Former NRL junior accused of running cocaine
A ONCE promising NRL youngster has been accused of running cocaine across Sydney for a sophisticated drug ring.
Former Wests Tigers junior Jaleel Seve-Derbas is one of eight people charged with drug supply following a seven-month police probe.
The 23-year-old back rower, who represented Lebanon at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, has also been charged with participating in a criminal group alongside his younger brother Jahsam Derbas.
The Gold Coast-based athlete was arrested at Tweed Heads police station about 7.30pm on Monday but was granted bail at Parramatta Local Court on Wednesday.
Seve-Derbas was supported in court by his sister and 20-year-old brother Jahsam Derbas, who was granted bail himself in January.
Just last month the pair celebrated Seve-Derbas' birthday together, drinking poolside at Sydney's Ivy club, while the footballer poses with luxury cars on his Instagram account.
But prosecutors allege the close knit brothers are pawns in a large scale drug syndicate and could face jail time if convicted after dealing to undercover cops.
"I'm pretty sure for Mr Seve it's not looking so glamorous right now," Magistrate Robyn Denes said.
The truck driver who usually works in Byron Bay allegedly delivered cocaine to Wentworthville customers in Sydney's west between September and October last year.
Magistrate Denes said the cocaine tends to be imported from South America and "you have to have lived under a rock not to see places like Mexico have murders, child sex abuse and prostitution" as a result of the drug trade.
"If not for the runners, those higher up can't profit from it," she said.
Seve played alongside Tigers hooker Robbie Farah at the 2017 RLWC and even introduced the veteran to his mum on the sidelines during the competition.
He now plays for the Tweed Seagulls in the Queensland Rugby League and is listed for a home game this Sunday.
The court heard Seve-Derbas had been nabbed while reporting for bail for other offences.
Seve, who offered up a $9000 bail surety, was ordered to continue to live in Southport and report daily to Tweed Heads police station.
He must surrender his passport and was banned from contacting his brother or any co-accused and witnesses.
Seve-Derbas's matter will return to court later this month and is the latest scalp from Strike Force Toallo which was established last August.
In December police raided homes in Greenacre, Kogarah, Bexley, and Canterbury as part of the investigation, seizing cash, substances believed to be cocaine and cannabis, guns, knuckle dusters, and jewellery.
That month 26-year-old Hamzeh Naboulis and Ibrahim Naboulis, 29 were arrested in Greenacre and charged with a raft of offences including drug supply.
The operation also netted 26-year-old Tanya Paraskeva, Dylan Singh, 21, and 24-year-olds Aaron Paradissis and Anthony Palumberi who were charged with drug supply.