A man allegedly involved in drug supply and money laundering "at a breathtakingly large level" has been granted bail with a multi-million dollar surety.
Nedal Haouchar was arrested at Sydney International Airport with a one-way ticket overseas in November and was granted bail by the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday.
He sought release arguing the case against him had significant weaknesses, his family was experiencing extreme hardship due to his detention, and he would likely spend significant time in custody before any trial could test the allegations.
Police announced Haouchar's arrest along with 27 other people as part of a large-scale investigation “targeting one of the most powerful organised criminal networks in Australian history”.
He has been charged with supplying prohibited drugs, dealing with the proceeds of crime exceeding $4.4 million, and knowingly directing a criminal group, and must appear when the matter returns to court in January.
"The short period and the large sum of money involved, taken in conjunction with the quantity of drugs involved in the supply ... indicates that Mr Haouchar, if he is found to have committed these offences, will have been involved in drug dealing and money laundering at a breathtakingly large level," Justice Peter Garling said on Tuesday.
Haouchar denies the charges and disputes alleged encrypted communications in the prosecution case are linked to him.
There is other circumstantial evidence alleging his involvement and the case was strengthened by Haouchar's arrest at an international airport with a one-way ticket and a large amount of luggage, the judge said.
However he granted bail, deeming the proposed conditions were enough to make the risk of Haouchar's release acceptable.
"His indefinite detention awaiting trial places enormous hardship on his family," the judge said.
Haouchar must post a $3.5 million surety, to be forfeited if he fails to appear in court as directed.
The matter is due back in court in January.