A Victorian travel agent accused in a high-profile case in which clients lost thousands of dollars they had paid for flights, hotels and tours is now in prison over a drug-related matter, Melbourne media has reported.
Jordan Dittloff, 27, was on bail and due to face Geelong Magistrates’ Court for a committal mention on 18 September 2015 in relation to allegations about ripping off his clients at Ace Travel in Colac.
The paper said Dittloff was jailed for six months and placed on an 18-month community corrections order requiring him to undergo drug rehabilitation and offender behaviour programs.
Reporting proceedings in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, the Herald Sun said Dittloff had been the subject of a Victoria Police undercover sting targeting his drug activities in central Melbourne.
Dittloff used the Surespot app on his mobile phone to organise drug deals with his customers – who included a covert police officer, the court heard. An arrest was made over a bag of 20 ecstasy pills.
The first interaction with the undercover officer was said to have transpired just one day after Dittloff handed himself into police after going missing from his travel agency and being charged with 36 counts of theft after clients of his travel agency lost AUD 200,000. He had been bailed on strict conditions.
Representing Dittloff on the drug-related matter, lawyer Ian Pugh told the court a psychologist had diagnosed his client with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Pugh said his “desperate” client had turned to drug trafficking after his successful travel business had started to fail.
Magistrate Peter Riordan said he could see no connection between ADHD and the offences. Drug trafficking required a “condign punishment”.
Condign (of punishment or retribution) is defined as “appropriate to the crime or wrongdoing; fitting and deserved”.
Written by Peter Needham