Drug trafficking yacht sailed into Coffs Harbour
THE yacht used to smuggle 700kg of cocaine into Australia arrived in Coffs Harbour last week.
Police seized the illicit drugs and arrested three men as part of a multi-agency investigation into international drug trafficking by sea.
According to AAP, authorities received intelligence about the planned delivery of the drugs thought to be worth more than $200 million and watched the catamaran closely when it arrived in Coffs last Friday.
In August, investigators from the NSW Police State Crime Command's Organised Crime Squad, Australian Federal Police, and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission started a joint investigation into the importation of cocaine by private vessels.
Following inquiries, investigators identified a vessel of interest travelling from the South Pacific bound for NSW.
After extensive investigations, a coordinated joint operation was started in the Lake Macquarie area about 3pm Wednesday.
During the operation, a 68-year-old man was arrested on board the vessel at Toronto, a 47-year-old man was arrested at a hotel at Warners Bay, and a 63-year-old man was arrested at a home at Islington.
On board the vessel, investigators found a large quantity of cocaine concealed within the hull.
The vessel was believed to contain 700kg of cocaine, which has an estimated potential street value of $245 million.
The three men were charged with import a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs and refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court on Thursday, where they were formally bail refused to appear at the same court on Tuesday, January 30 2018.
The maximum penalty for import a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs is life imprisonment.