Australian police seized vessel carrying 200 kg of cocaine
A 27-year-old man was charged in relation to the haul, worth an estimated 90 million Australian dollars (70 million U.S. dollars) on the street.
According to a joint statement by local law enforcement, the Australian Federal Police were tipped off last weekend that a cargo vessel was allegedly carrying a large quantity of cocaine bound for Australia.
Police then tracked the vessel as it made its way to Sydney. The drugs were transferred to a smaller vessel before dawn on Thursday, which was intercepted by law enforcement as it made its way to shore.
The police conducted a search of the larger cargo vessel after it docked at Port Botany, as well as a storage unit linked to the man where authorities uncovered 500,000 Australian dollars (about 387,800 U.S. dollars) in cash.
Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) Executive Director Intelligence Operations Matt Rippon said that a national wastewater testing program report recently showed an estimated 5,675 kg of cocaine was consumed in the 2019-20 reporting period.
"There is an insatiable appetite for illicit drugs in Australia," Rippon said.
"This is causing ongoing social harm in the community and diverting astronomical amounts of money into the criminal economy." ■