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Drug importer used Helen Clark’s name

A former prime minister's name was used by a Gisborne man as an alias under which he imported narcotics from the UK, court documents show.

Carl George Shannon, 44, made a brief appearance via AV-link from Auckland, during a Crown call-over fixture in Gisborne District Court.

Shannon faces 15 drug charges, mostly for allegedly receiving mail importations of illegal drugs between April 2017 and June 21, 2020. They were said to have been sent to his and other addresses, and to a variety of recipient aliases, including one named Helen Clark.

Crown counsel Megan Mitchell told Judge Turitea Bolstad an application is pending to have Shannon's case joined with a prosecution of his son Ethan Carl Shannon, 23, who faces similar charges in Auckland.

Shannon snr's lawyer Nick Dutch told the court it was accepted that unless the Auckland case resolved, the bringing together of the two would be almost inevitable.

Shannon junior faces three charges for importing drugs.

The situation will be finalised at another case review hearing in the Gisborne court on January 29. Shannon snr was further remanded on bail until then.

The charges he faces are eight of importing ecstasy, two of importing methamphetamine and amphetamine, two of importing cocaine, possession of equipment for cultivating cannabis, cultivating cannabis, and possession of cannabis seeds.

The alleged offending was discovered in mail checks by New Zealand Customs officials.