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Friday, July 1, 2022

Two men charged over 320kg cocaine bust in Western Australia

A NSW man and a German national with suspected links to organised crime have been charged with importing 320 kilograms of cocaine into Western Australia.

The men were arrested in Port Hedland on Sunday after investigators found the drugs in 320 individual blocks in a campervan.

Police believe the cocaine, worth at least $128 million, was destined for WA and other states.

They allege the 37-year-old German national flew into Australia earlier this month to help retrieve the drugs.

They said he met the 49-year-old NSW man in Port Hedland and the pair travelled to Karratha where they hired a 6.5-metre boat.

They drove it to Port Hedland before later launching it from a local boat ramp and heading about 28 kilometres out to sea on Thursday and Friday evenings.

Police allege the pair used the runabout to collect the cocaine from the ocean off the Pilbara mining town.

The men’s boat was seen idling close to an international bulk shipping carrier while offshore and investigations are continuing into suspicions the ship was used to bring the drugs into WA waters.

The bulk carrier was boarded by a police tactical response group and investigations are continuing.

The two men arrested have been charged with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug, namely cocaine.

Australian Federal Police Acting Assistant Commissioner John Tanti said their arrests 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,” he said.

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