The Courier-Mail

Yacht drug cache hits $25 million

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ABOUT $25 million worth of cocaine has now been uncovered on a luxury yacht raided on the Gold Coast, after a “significan­t” haul was located during a second search.

Police will allege the 13m Solay transporte­d about 100kg of the drug from South America, after an extra 30kg was seized during the week when the yacht was “pulled apart”.

The Solay was tracked to the Gold Coast under a multiagenc­y operation targeting organised crime syndicates allegedly using yachts to ship cocaine to Australia through the South Pacific region.

Police and Border Force officers swooped on the yacht when it moored on the Coomera River on August 24. Thirty kilograms of cocaine was allegedly hidden on board, and 40kg in a vehicle intercepte­d in the Dreamworld carpark.

Five men were arrested, including the 43-year-old Estonian skipper and a 58-yearold United Kingdom national.

They face charges including importatio­n of a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug and attempted possession of a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported bordercont­rolled drug. The maximum penalty for each offence is life imprisonme­nt and/or an $825,000 fine.

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