UKTN tries a new line in search of smuggler of massive cocaine catch


Police are asking the public to play the sleuth and help identify the intended recipients of a 700-pound shipment of cocaine seized from a container ship in Port Botany.

Authorities estimate the catch has an estimated street value of $280 million, but they can’t explain where the individual rocks from the dug cache bear a variety of puzzling markings.

Forensics identified several decals on the stones, including the numbers 5 and 365 and the word Netflix, the agencies said.

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Anyone with information or suspicions is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.

Australian Border Force agents found the drugs on July 22 while inspecting containers on the ship Maersk Inverness.

The cocaine was packed in 28 nail bags, each holding about 25 kilograms in brick form, the UKTN and ABF said in a statement on Saturday.

Significant blow

UKTN Detective Inspector Luke Wilson said the ship, which was allowed to continue its journey, had stopped in ports in Central and South America before heading to Australia.

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Insp Wilson said intercepting the drugs would be a major blow to what was likely a well-equipped criminal syndicate.

“We are still investigating where the drugs were loaded and who planned to collect them in Australia,” he said.

“The UKTN estimates that this attack saved the community more than $451 million in drug-related damage.”

ABF Detained Goods NSW Superintendent Joanne Yeats said the seizure demonstrated the technical expertise of officers who discovered the cocaine.

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She said the agency had disrupted the supply of the criminal network and “prevented this large shipment of cocaine from entering our community”.



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