Superyacht tour operator James Blee backtracks on his freedom bid

A quirky Superyacht tour operator accused of importing 108kg of cocaine has reversed its decision to seek bail.

James Blee, also known as Jimmy, was arrested in Cairns on May 11 as he was about to board a one-way flight to Singapore.

Camera iconJames Blake did not appear in court on Friday. Credit: Provided

Two days earlier, the body of Brazilian professional diver Bruno Borges, 31, was found in the water near the port of Newcastle surrounded by an estimated $20 million worth of cocaine.

Bricks of the drugs were found wrapped in plastic packaging floating near Mr Borges’ body and police recovered a further 50 kilograms from the sea chest of a nearby Argentine cargo ship.

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Camera iconAfter his arrest, Mr Blake told reporters he had applied to be an Australian Survivor candidate and had been rejected three times. Brendan Radke Credit: News Corp Australia

Police alleged that Mr Blee, 62, had traveled from Indonesia to Darwin with Mr Borges and another man in the days before the death and the discovery of the cocaine.

It is further alleged that Mr Blee and Mr Borges were filmed on CCTV buying high-end scuba gear from a Newcastle dive shop.

Brazilian diver Bruno Borges died trying to retrieve cocaine from a ship.  Facebook
Camera iconBrazilian diver Bruno Borges died trying to retrieve cocaine from a ship. Facebook Credit: Provided

Mr Blee, who resides in the Cairns suburb of Manoora, was charged with importing 108kg of cocaine and supplying the same amount.

He has entered no plea and remains in pre-trial detention in NSW Jail following his extradition from Queensland.

James Wheat
Camera iconJames Blee (left) after his extradition from Cairns. Liam Mendes / The Australian Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr Blee’s case was briefly mentioned in Sydney Central Local Court on Friday, where he was registered to apply for bail.

Defense attorney Alex Somers told the court a bail application would no longer be made and he did not provide a reason for the change in plan.

Magistrate Susan Horan adjourned the case to July 13.

Police inspect a block of cocaine found near Mr. Borges.  New South Wales Police
Camera iconPolice inspect a block of cocaine found near Mr. Borges. New South Wales Police Credit: Provided

After his arrest, Mr Blee told reporters he regretted the situation he found himself in.

“I would like to apologize to my friends and family for the general situation I have put them in at this time,” he said.

“The court process will show the end result and what will happen, but this fact, it has come to this stage, I’m so sorry.”