August 01, 2020 - 504 views

Five Australian men have been charged in relation to the drug bust yesterday at Papa outside Port Moresby.

According to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in a statement, the suspects were arrested while waiting in a truck hoping to offload the cocaine once the plane landed in Australia from PNG.

However, the plane never made it back from PNG as it crashed while trying to take off at a private airstrip.

AFP said members of a Melbourne-based criminal syndicate, with alleged links to Italian organised crime, have been charged for conspiring to import over 500 kilograms of cocaine from PNG into Australia.

The AFP, working with Queensland and Victoria Police, Australian Border Force, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC), have charged five men, all facing life imprisonment.

The Queensland Joint Organised Crime Taskforce, working closely with Victoria Police and RPNGC, allege the group travelled from Melbourne and Sydney to Atherton between 19 and 25 July, with the aim of carrying out the importation and collection of cocaine from PNG.

The group then allegedly facilitated a flight on the light aircraft to PNG on the morning of 26 July 2020, where a member of the group (a pilot) attempted to collect the illicit cargo.

The cocaine was seized last night by the RPNGC while the pilot was charged with one count of illegal entry into PNG and fined K3, 000.

The 28 bags of cocaine weighing about 750 kilograms is valued 80 million Australian dollars or over K194 million.

Police Commissioner David Manning says the joint police investigation continues into the case.


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Mike, 1 week ago
Well done