The owner of a well-known Darwin restaurant has been fined
$3,000 and forced to forfeit thousands more found in a safe in
his home, after pleading guilty to importing cocaine through
Alexis Kotis, 39, who owns the Souvlaki Grill and Chill in the
Darwin suburb of Nightcliff, was arrested earlier this year
after a police investigation into the importation of the drug
through mail distribution centres.
Today he pleaded guilty to possessing a trafficable quantity of
cocaine and supplying a commercial quantity — being less than
40 grams — of the drug.
Kotis admitted to buying the drug through the private messaging
app Wickr and having it sent to Darwin through the mail.
27.6 grams of cocaine in DVD case
The court heard once police became aware of his operation they
intervened, seizing the package and instructing staff at his
post office to tell him the package had been misdirected.
The prosecution told the court Kotis was visibly unhappy when
told the news and made a call before leaving the post office.
Police then took the package to be forensically analysed and
found 27.6 grams of cocaine in a vacuum sealed bag placed
inside a DVD case.
The court heard police replaced the cocaine with a white powder
substitute, returned the package and proceeded to track Kotis
after he picked it up to a shed owned by his father in
Thousands found in cash in a safe
When he was arrested later that afternoon police raided the
shed, finding the substitute powder, cocaine, keratin used to
cut with the drug, small plastic spoons and digital scales.
They also raided his home and seized $34,700 in cash from a
safe, which he said was money from his wedding and the
christening of one of his children.
Kotis’ lawyer Peter Maley said Kotis had made full admissions
during his police interview and that his operation was not one
for commercial benefit.
Mr Maley also said extensive media attention had made Kotis’
“He has been humiliated publicly,” Mr Maley said.
Deputy chief judge Michael Carey fined Kotis, saying he had
taken into account the fact he was selling “in-house” to
friends and family.
“You weren’t supplying generally in a commercial way in the
community,” he said.
“You find yourself in a very nefarious situation today …
you’ve effectively destroyed your standing in your
Mr Carey fined Kotis $3,000 plus court levies.
Kotis also had $4,000 taken from the $34,700 seized in the
raids as the amount he had received from selling the cocaine.
He was also ordered to forfeit the keratin, plastic spoons and