Sydney (Australia), June 2. The Australian authorities reported this Friday that they seized more than 800 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a cargo ship that came from South America, in a complex operation carried out off the western coast of the oceanic country that resulted in the arrest of three men.
The value of this cache on the black market in Australia – one of the most lucrative global destinations for international mafias – is around 320 million Australian dollars (212 million dollars or 197 million euros), according to a statement from the Federal Police. Australian and other official agencies of the oceanic country.
“Consignments of cocaine are being seized at unprecedented levels at Australian borders,” Ranjeev Maharaj, a commander of the Australian Border Force, who participated in the operation, said in the statement, assuring that the authorities of his country will continue to cooperate with domestic and international agencies to prevent drug trafficking.
The drug shipment was discovered on May 25 after the authorities received intelligence information that a cargo ship was going to dump drugs into the sea to be picked up by a local mafia and they had a fortuitous encounter with those who were supposedly going to collect the goods.
A day earlier, the Police came to the aid of a ten-meter-long boat called No Fixed Address that had requested help near Rottnest Island, about 20 kilometers off the coast of the city of Perth (southwest), allegedly for having engine problems.
Australian authorities later discovered that the three men aboard the No Fixed Address ship had little sailing experience and had bought the ship with cash the day before to put to sea.
Shortly after, they detected the suspicious presence of the merchant ship ST Pinot near where the No Fixed Address incident occurred.
Border authorities boarded that cargo ship, which came from South America, and after taking it to the Port of Fremantle, 23 kilometers south of Perth, “they found suspicious packages submerged in a ballast tank full of water,” according to the statement.
That same day, Australian Navy divers recovered 28 large packages wrapped in blue plastic from the water, while another package was detected when the tank was emptied.
All the packages contained about a kilogram of cocaine, according to forensic analysis, and the ship came from South America, although the country was not specified.
The Police reported that after determining that it was a drug shipment, the three men, one of them a Lithuanian national, who were on board the ship No Fixed Address, were arrested and accused of drug trafficking, which is punishable by the maximum penalty. of life imprisonment
Australian authorities are still investigating the responsibility of the freighter’s crew, who continue to search for more drugs.
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