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After making preparations including buying a second-hand van, hiring an eight-tonne truck and a forklift, an accused drug trafficker received disappointing news the shipping container he expected would not arrive.

“I don’t even need this one,” David Campbell allegedly told a customs broker in April 2017, after only one of two containers he was expecting showed.

The container he needed, which allegedly contained close to a tonne of pure cocaine concealed in steel posts, had already been intercepted by authorities.

Campbell, 53, is facing trial alongside Tristan Waters, 39, accused of conspiring to import and possess border controlled drugs.

Waters has pleaded guilty to the second charge but denies involvement in the import conspiracy.

The pair were dramatically arrested at a Serbian hotel in January 2018 following a globe-trotting undercover police operation.

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