by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) Aug 4, 2017
A massive cocaine haul bound for Australia in the hull of a yacht has been intercepted by the French navy in the Pacific, officials said on Friday.
The 1.46 tonnes of the drug with an estimated street value of Aus$322 million (US$256 million) was seized in the South Pacific and four crew members, believed to be Lithuanian and Latvian nationals, arrested.
The vessel "Afalina", which set sail from South America, was towed to Noumea in New Caledonia, a French territory.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission said it was working with its international partners to probe "the Lithuanian syndicate" and pinpoint exactly where the drugs came from after the seizure last week.
"We are thankful for the actions taken by French authorities which has stopped a significant amount of drugs reaching the streets of Australia," said commission executive director of intelligence Col Blanch.
"This demonstrates the importance of international law enforcement and intelligence agencies working together to effectively target transnational criminal enterprises."
The drugs were destroyed Wednesday in the furnace of a Noumea nickel plant, a spokesman for the company said.
With its high street prices, Australia is an attractive destination for drug-smugglers. The country also has a growing problem with ice addiction.
Last month three men were charged for allegedly plotting to smuggle large amounts of ice from the United States to Australia in a light plane via the Pacific.
Jakarta (AFP) Aug 1, 2017
Indonesia will deport 153 Chinese nationals arrested for alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar cyber fraud ring targeting wealthy businessmen and politicians in China, police said Tuesday. The syndicate, who ran their operation from abroad to avoid detection by Chinese officials but did not target any victims in their host country, made around six trillion rupiah ($450 million) since ... read more
21st Century Pirates
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