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The An0M Encrypted Phone Case: Another twist in case of Stuart MacGill's alleged kidnapping
There's been another big development in the alleged kidnapping of cricketer Stuart MacGill.
Son Minh Nguyen, who is the man accused of being the mastermind in the alleged kidnapping of the cricket legend, faced court today and was slapped with a string of new charges.
Nguyen fronted Sydney's Central Court today where it was sensationally revealed that fresh evidence has emerged, allegedly linking Nguyen to the large commercial sale of cocaine in an international police sting.
Mr Nguyen is one of six men charged over the kidnapping of former spin bowler MacGill, five months ago.
Yesterday police arrested another man known as Sunny after a dramatic police chase through central Sydney.
It's alleged 28-year-old Sunny - whose real name is Zachary Ahmad El Kheir - ripped off Nguyen in a drug deal worth almost three quarters of a million dollars after being introduced to the lleged cocaine dealer by MacGill's partner's brother - Marino Sotiropoulos.
Police maintain MacGill was dragged off a Sydney street and stripped and held captive after being blamed for the failed drug deal - after Mr El Khier allegedly vanished with the drugs without paying.
After Mr El Kheir's arrest police searched his Casula home where it's alleged they found almost a kilo of cocaine, about $300,000 in cash, as well as a revolver and ammunition.
The 28-year-old has not been charged over MacGill's alleged kidnapping.
Detective Superintendent Andrew Koutsoufis told media at a press conference today, "at this point in time we allege he has no direct involvement in the actual kidnapping of Mr MacGill…however, he had some sort of participation ... prior to the incident."
While Mr Nguyen walked into court on bail, the prosecution asked for him to be placed in custody as a result of new charges.
The Magistrate decided to retract his $430,000 bail and ordered the father-of-one be taken into custody and held until he faces court again in January.
Strike Force detectives have revealed Mr Nguyen came under the attention of the Australian Federal Police as part of an international police sting which was codenamed Operation Ironside six months ago.
"We've had almost four-and-a-half-thousand law enforcement officials across the country working on this and globally there's been about 9000 police working on this job," Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Nigel Ryan told A Current Affair in June about the operation.
It will be alleged Nguyen used an encrypted ANOM mobile phone device to make several large drug transactions.
The ANOM system was created by the AFP and the FBI.
To date, hundreds have been arrested and tonnes of drugs have been seized as a result of the international sting.
As well as being charged with MacGill's kidnapping and with directing a criminal group, Mr Nguyen is now also accused of trafficking at least a kilo and a half of cocaine.
It will be alleged Mr Nguyen is involved in drug trafficking using a number of encrypted devices.