According to Australian Border Force (ABF), more than 200 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the hull of a cargo ship has been seized in Melbourne.
s explained, Australian Border Force (ABF) officers used an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to search a vessel docked in Melbourne’s Maribyrnong Terminal on 9 August, after it had travelled from Argentina via New Zealand.
ABF officers using the ROV identified a suspicious hull attachment in the ship’s sea chest, an area of the vessel that contains pipes used to pump sea water into and out of the ballast tanks.
Packages of cocaine, worth $80 million were found within the sea chest by specialised divers from the Victoria Police Search and Rescue Squad, and these packages were later seized by the AFP.
This concealment method is not new, and this seizure is another case of law enforcement remaining one step ahead of criminals attempting to bring harmful, illicit drugs into our country and into our community.
..said AFP Commander Richard Chin.
As informed, the ship and crew were permitted to continue its journey after it was searched. It travelled from Victoria across to Western Australia, and then back to South Australia.
Victoria Police Search and Rescue Inspector James Dalton said this seizure demonstrated the skills of specialist divers and how serious police are in detecting and deterring this activity.
We have prevented 200kg of cocaine from reaching our streets and in doing so, we have prevented approximately 1 million street deals and the significant harm to our society that flows as a result.