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‘Self-serving evidence’: key witness trying to minimise role, court

Mr Narayan told the court he had been given a bag with $10,000 in $50 notes by a man he knew as ‘Jason’ who drove a white BMW and who wanted access to a container containing “documents”.

But when the forklift driver stacked it on another container with its doors jammed against another container, rendering it inaccessible, Mr Bishop knew what had happened and approached Mr Narayan to talk about it.

Philip Ian Bishop, who worked for Chess Moving in Blacktown where the container was delivered.

Philip Ian Bishop, who worked for Chess Moving in Blacktown where the container was delivered.

Mr Narayan also alleged that it was Mr Bishop who then said the pair should ask for more money to complete the job, taking their share to $50,000 each.

The forklift driver also said he took a call from Mr Bishop late one night, telling him “they took three hours to take their stuff and they’re gone”, adding that he “hoped that the camera didn’t pick them up because he was walking in the car park with the money inside his jacket.”

A day after police busted the haul, arresting six men but not yet Mr Bishop, Mr Narayan said Mr Bishop arranged to meet him at Woodbine McDonald’s near Campbelltown.

He told him he should not talk about the money and should not go to the police, Mr Narayan said.

But under cross examination from Mr Bishop’s counsel, Michael McHugh, SC, accused Mr Narayan of seeking to minimise his own involvement.

Mr Narayan had failed to tell police in two interviews that he had taken the $10,000 home and hidden it until he had been offered immunity nearly six months after the bust, Mr McHugh said.

Mr Narayan had until then said the money had stayed in the cabin of his forklift, the jury heard. He had also told police in an early interview that ‘Jason’ flagged the possibility of more money on completing the job.

Counsel for Mr Bishop challenged Mr Narayan’s claims of deliberately putting a shipping container within sight of security cameras, describing that as a fantasy.

Mr Narayan was challenged over how many times he had been in touch with ‘Jason’ and why he had deleted his phone number from his mobile phone.

“You deliberately hid your involvement in taking this container down, didn’t you? This was all self-serving evidence you gave police because you were heavily involved in putting this container down for money,” Mr McHugh said.

“No,” Mr Narayan said.

The trial continues.

Michael Evans is Investigations Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald.

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