In a recent operation that underscores the relentless pursuit of drug traffickers, Australian authorities have seized a substantial quantity of cocaine hidden within the hull of a cargo ship that had recently visited New Zealand. This discovery, facilitated by advanced search techniques, has ignited an investigation into the drug’s origin and intended destination, shedding light on the persistent challenges of combating transnational drug smuggling operations. The nzherald source.
- Australian Federal Police seize 200 kilograms of cocaine from a cargo ship’s hull, initiating an investigation into drug trafficking routes.
- Innovative underwater search methods, including remotely operated vehicles, were used to uncover the hidden narcotics worth an estimated $80 million.
- Authorities remain vigilant against transnational crime groups using commercial ships to smuggle drugs into Australia via below-the-waterline concealments.
Cocaine Found in Cargo Ship Hull
Australian Federal Police (AFP) have seized 200 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the hull of a cargo ship that previously visited New Zealand. The discovery was made during a search at Melbourne’s Maribyrnong Terminal.
Innovative Search Techniques
The Australian Border Force (ABF) used an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to search the ship’s sea chest, where they found a suspicious hull attachment. Specialized divers from the Victoria Police Search and Rescue Squad later located and seized packages of cocaine hidden within the sea chest.
Estimated Street Value of $80 Million
The seized cocaine, with an estimated street worth of $80 million, has prompted an AFP investigation to determine the origin of the drugs and their intended destination. Law enforcement agencies have been vigilant in monitoring cargo ships for drug concealments below the waterline.
Combating Transnational Crime
AFP Commander Richard Chin emphasized the importance of staying ahead of narcotics traffickers who use these concealment methods. The focus of the investigation is on identifying transnational organized crime groups involved in the drug importation and distribution within Australia. Organized crime organizations are increasingly targeting the country for drug smuggling using parasitic hull attachments on commercial ships.
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