To listen the article select text   Click to listen highlighted text! To listen the article select text

Qld arrest after man’s alleged bid to flee country following $20m coke bust

Queensland and federal police arrested a 62-year-old man allegedly trying to flee Australia on a flight to Singapore on Wednesday evening.He was taken to Cairns watch house and charged with two drug offences including importing a large commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug and large commercial drug supply.The man is due to appear on Thursday in Cairns Magistrates Court where NSW Organised Crime Squad detectives seek his extradition to NSW.It comes after NSW police located evidence of more drugs further up the Hunter River near Port Newcastle on Wednesday. An empty bale washed up on the bank of the river.Police have also made a partial identification on the suspected drug mule who drowned after diving to the ocean floor off the coast of Newcastle to retrieve more than 50kg worth of cocaine.The man was a foreign national and authorities are trying to make contact with his family to notify them of his death.Emergency services were called to Heron Road, near the shipping ports on Kooragang Island around 9.30am on Monday following reports of an unconscious diver on the shore.Port officials noticed the man floating in the water and he soon washed up on shore weighed down by diving equipment near the northern end of the port.They performed CPR until paramedics arrived on the scene, but the man died at the scene.Numerous packages containing more than 50kg of a white powder believed to be cocaine were located in the waters near shore with an estimated potential street value of $20 million.“It‘s a high-end sophisticated operation,” Organised Crime Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Robert Critchlow told reporters on Tuesday.“We do have some information about general trafficking and we’ll certainly be leaving no stone unturned in finding out where this package came from and also to identify this man,” Mr Critchlow said.Suspicious activity was reported on Sunday night around a large vessel moored very close to where the man’s body was found.Around midnight, port officials saw an inflatable rubber dinghy and a five-metre aluminium speedboat with a green stripe floating near the ship under the cover of darkness.Mr Critchlow said the presence of two small boats led police to believe there was more than one person involved in the operation.“People, don’t scuba dive alone,” he said.“It‘s something of concern that there’s evidently more people involved than the dead man.”The vessel known as the Areti. GR is registered to the Marshall Islands but originated in Argentina where it was loaded with soy bean powder to transport Australian shores.It arrived on Sunday afternoon and was searched thoroughly on Monday morning with all crew members interviewed by authorities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Click to listen highlighted text!