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Five Australian Men charged for PNG Drug Bust

Five members of a Melbourne-based criminal syndicate have been arrested and face life imprisonment if convicted, for conspiring to import over 750 kilograms of cocaine from Papua New Guinea into Australia.

These drugs were seized last night at Papa Lealea, Central Province, by officers from the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, Australian Federal Police and the National Intelligence Organisation, following the plane crash on July 26.

In statement released today by the Australian Federal Police, the five Australian men were arrested on July 26, in Queensland and Victoria after the Cessna Model light aircraft departed Queensland for PNG.

The AFP says, in a coordinated effort, across multiple locations, several search warrants were executed across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and PNG.

The Queensland Joint Organized Crime Taskforce working with Victoria Police and RPNGC allege the group traveled from Melbourne to Sydney, then to Atherton between July 19 and 25, with the aim of carrying out the importation and collection of cocaine from PNG.

According to the AFP, the group then allegedly facilitated a flight on the aircraft to PNG on the morning of July 26, where the pilot David John Cutmore, piloted the illicit cargo over.

The AFP alleges the aircraft flew at about 3,000 feet from Queensland to PNG, in an effort to avoid radar detection – describing the flight as ‘dangerous’ for other aircrafts as well as those on board, in addition to being ‘illegal’ and ‘unauthorized.’

The men will re-appear again on the 10th August 2020 to face an extradition hearing to Queensland.

Police Commissioner David Manning told NBC News, that investigations are continuing.

article/ Photo : NBC News

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