A record haul of cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $166 million is in police hands after it was seized in South Australia.
Australian Federal Police announced that 416kg of cocaine had been confiscated off Yorke Peninsula. It is the largest haul of illicit drugs ever captured in South Australia.
Four Filipino nationals aged 29 to 44, who were crew members aboard an international bulk shipping carrier, were charged with drug importation, and will appear in court today.
Police will allege crew members offloaded the shipment of drugs overboard once in South Australian waters in mid March, 2022.
The Australian Border Force found the illicit consignment on March 21, 2022, off the coast of the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Peter Harvey said it was likely the drugs would have been distributed across Australia by criminals associated with serious organised crime.
“While the alleged cocaine importation is the largest ever detected by law enforcement in South Australia, it is most certain the drugs would have been trafficked to other Australian states,” Assistant Commissioner Harvey said.
Australian Border Force Acting Chief Superintendent Alex Kelsall compared the search to finding “a needle in a haystack”.
The investigation is continuing, with more arrests expected.