A record 1.4 tons of cocaine with an estimated street value of 312 million Australian dollars (239 million U.S. dollars) has been seized from a yacht off the New South Wales south coast, the Australian Federal Police have announced Monday.

cocaine“This syndicate was intending to bring significant misery to the Australian community,” Australian Federal Police acting deputy commissioner Neil Gaughan said.

“Any organized crime syndicate that believes they’re going to get away with it, sooner or later they’re going to get caught.”

The drug syndicate allegedly sailed a yacht called Elakha from New Zealand to a “mother ship” waiting in international waters before being detained 370 km off the coast of Australia.

Elakha was well known to New Zealand customs who had been tracking the yacht for four years.

The joint intelligence operation found a New Zealand man, 63, and a Swiss-Fijian dual national, 54, on board with the drug haul on Thursday night.

The following morning, a 66-year-old, two 62 year-olds and a 32-year-old were arrested, accused of planning to bring the narcotic on shore.

All of the men face a maximum of life in prison if convicted.

“Clearly this is an enormous blow to supply of illicit drugs in Australia, particularly cocaine,” Australian Federal Justice Minister Micheal Keenan said.

The “mother ship” remains at large and is being investigated by authorities.

Source: Xinhua/


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