Former NRL player Jamil Hopoate pleads guilty to importing cocaine with a street value of $154 million

Former rugby league player Jamil Hopoate has confessed to importing a large amount of cocaine into Australia after he was caught in a police stab.

The 27-year-old son of ex-Manly player John Hopoate appeared before the Downing Center in Sydney, where he pleaded guilty to commercial drug supply.

His lawyer, Mahmoud Abbas, said there was a dispute over the weight of the cocaine — which police say was about half a ton — with a street value of $154 million.

Agents first seized the drugs imported on a plane from London to Sydney and swapped it for powder before waiting for it to be picked up in May 2021.

According to police, Hopoate opened a truck door and left Port Botany with a backpack full of fake cocaine.

Hopoate got into a car driven by Leanne Mofoa before officers launched a high-speed chase in southeastern Sydney.

After the chase ended, he fled through backyards and over fences, before dropping the backpack and ending up in handcuffs.

Jamil Hopoate’s father John played rugby league for Manly.AAP: Bianca de Marchic

Ms Mofoa, who was also arrested, was subsequently charged with complicity and pleaded guilty.

Both will be sentenced in NSW court on June 10.

Hopoate has been out on bail since July last year and must live with his brother at his home in Gledswood Hills.

He was sacked from the Brisbane Broncos at the end of the 2020 NRL season and was not picked up by a new Sydney club.

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