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Urine 'switch' to get mine jobs

Luke Eliot and Gary Adshead, The West Australian Updated June 15, 2012, 2:40 am


A Health Department staff member faces corruption charges amid allegations a senior Gypsy Joker bikie asked her to tamper with urine samples so two of his employees could secure mining jobs.

Just hours after a parliamentary joint standing committee tabled a report criticising the working relationship between WA Police and the Corruption and Crime Commission, both agencies revealed details of the joint operation that led them to charge six people over an alleged bid to beat strict minesite drug testing.

The secret investigation gained momentum on Thursday last week when gang crime squad officers and CCC investigators travelled to Tom Price and charged a 40-year-old local woman with two counts of acting corruptly as a public officer.

The woman was also charged with attempting to possess heroin.

A 43-year-old Tom Price man was also charged with possessing a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply.

On Wednesday, officers charged four men over the alleged urine sample substitution, including a 45-year-old Beckenham man described as a senior member of the Gypsy Jokers.

The two men who allegedly had their urine samples switched - aged 41 and 21, from Parmelia and Roleystone respectively - have been charged with gaining benefit by fraud.

A 24-year-old man involved in contracting the pair has been charged with two counts of gaining benefit by fraud.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary committee on the CCC found both agencies should take some responsibility for last year's bungled prosecution of two Coffin Cheaters bikies.

Contempt charges against the pair stemming from secret hearings into a bikie stoush at the Kwinana Motorplex were discontinued because of procedural mistakes in issuing a certificate for their prosecution, according to the then parliamentary inspector of the CCC, Chris Steytler.

Shadow attorney-general John Quigley said the report proved the CCC should not be given an independent mandate to investigate organised crime.

Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan said he was open to discussing improving relations with the CCC, adding he supported legislation that would enable the watchdog to conduct its own inquiries into organised crime.

The man and woman from Tom Price are due to appear in the Tom Price Magistrate's Court on July 18. The other four are due to appear in the Perth Magistrate's Court on June 27.


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