THE opening of Victoria’s newest saleyards will not be jeopardised by a shock arrest of the one of the facility’s directors on drug smuggling charges.
The Mortlake livestock exchange is due to host its first sale on Monday, but excitement over the opening has been superseded by news of the international arrest of one of directors of SELX, the parent company of the Mortlake facility.
Australia’s livestock industry was abuzz on Wednesday following the confirmation of the news that SELX director Rohan Arnold had been arrested in the south-eastern European nation of Serbia on the suspicion of a plot to smuggle cocaine.
Three men were arrested as part of the raid on a Belgrade hotel.
Fellow SELX director Brendan Abbey said the news had come as a complete shock to the other eight members of the board.
“It has caused a fair stir, we’ve had some emergency meetings but we can confirm for our customers that the sale will be going ahead on Monday – buyers and sellers should turn up as planned.”
He said there were about 1800 head of cattle to be sold at the inaugural sale.
Mr Abbey stressed Mr Arnold’s arrest was a personal matter and had nothing to do with the SELX business.
Along with the multi-million dollar Mortlake development, which will have a catchment through Victoria’s Western District, one of the nation’s major livestock producing regions, SELX operates a selling centre in Yass, in NSW’s Southern Tablelands.