NSW Man And German National Arrested In WA Over $120 Million Cocaine Heist
Transnational organised crime
A NSW man and a German national have been charged with allegedly importing 320kg of cocaine, from a cargo ship off the WA coast.
Authorities on Sunday morning seized about $120 million worth of cocaine from a campervan belonging to the 49-year-old NSW man at Port Hedland.
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Police allege that the NSW man and the 37-year-old German man, who arrived in Australia sometime in May to assist with the drug pick-up, sailed about 28km out to sea on Thursday and Friday evening, at Port Hedland.
“The men’s boat was seen idling close to an international bulk shipping carrier while offshore and investigations are continuing into suspicions that the cargo vessel was used to import the drugs,” a police statement said.
With suspected links to organised crime, the men were charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine.
AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner John Tanti said the multi-agency investigation between WA Police, the AFP and Border Force has prevented an illegal drug from getting into the hands of vulnerable Australians.
“This amount of cocaine could have been sold to about 320,000 Australians as if broken down into 1g street level deals and put about $128 million into the pockets of the criminals involved in its distribution,” he said.
“Australian law enforcement and our partners continue to successfully disrupt transnational crime, and the AFP will continue to collaborate with agencies overseas to investigate and disrupt the supply of illicit drugs from around the world into Australia.
“There is a perception by some in the community that cocaine is a safe drug. Let me be clear – it is not. Just as importantly, the transnational serious organised criminals who target Australia are undermining our national security, economy and social security system," he said.
Mr Tanti warned the outcomes should send a strong message to organised crime groups looking to import drugs into Australia.
“Australia is no safe haven for criminals. We are coming after you and we will not stop,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Tanti said.
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