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Jamil Hopoate arrested in cocaine bust

Troubled former NRL player Jamil Hopoate has been charged with supplying half a tonne of cocaine with an estimated street value of nearly $155 million.

Hopoate, 26, is accused of being part of a trio now charged over the massive haul of cocaine from the UK.

Hopoate, the son of former Manly winger John Hopoate, was a talented junior, who was sacked by Parramatta and Manly before he could make his NRL debut for off-field issues.

Police say Australian Border Force officers found 514kg of cocaine hidden in a consignment of toolboxes which arrived in Sydney on Saturday.

Police say when detectives stopped a van at Botany on Tuesday morning the woman driver reversed at speed before the male passenger – allegedly Hopoate – ran off and threw a backpack into a nearby yard.

Police gave chase on foot and arrested him a short distance away.

The 33-year-old northern beaches woman was arrested before officers retrieved the backpack.

The woman was taken to Mascot Police Station and charged with commercial drug supply and using an offensive weapon in company to prevent detention.

Hopoate, from Dee Why, was taken to hospital for treatment to a minor leg injury, before being charged at Mascot Police Station with supplying a large commercial quantity of cocaine.

The pair was refused bail to appear at Central Local Court on Wednesday.

Detectives later arrested a 28-year-old Minto man and charged him with supplying a large commercial quantity of cocaine.

Police will allege in court that the man collected the consignment from Matraville and delivered it to Pagewood, before leaving the area.

He was also refused bail to appear at Campbelltown Local Court on Wednesday.

Hopoate played 12 NRL matches in Brisbane’s nightmare 2020 season and is now without a contract.

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