1493353334152 - Trio deny importing 5 kilograms of ecstasy seized at Christchurch Airport

Trio deny importing 5 kilograms of ecstasy seized at Christchurch Airport

Two Russians and a Ukranian have denied importing 5 kilograms of ecstasy, which was intercepted at Christchurch Airport earlier this month.

The trio entered not guilty pleas to charges of importation of MDMA – commonly known as ecstasy – and possession of the drug for supply in the Christchurch District Court on Friday.

Two of the defendants appeared before Judge Gary MacAskill, while the other pleaded before a court registrar.

The charges state that the powdered drug was found in a Samsonite suitcase.

Vladimir Turovsky, a 32-year-old dive shop owner, and Vadim Shkolnitski, 35, a truck driver, are from Russia. Ganna Manchenko, a 31-year-old woman employed as a cook, is from the Ukraine.

A Russian interpreter was in court for Manchenko and Shkolnitski, who appeared before the judge.

The trio were remanded in custody for a Crown case-review hearing on June 12, but defence counsel Steve Hembrow said Manchenko would also apply for release on electronically monitored bail at a hearing on May 15.

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