In the Media

Largest Pacific cocaine haul seized on yacht bound for Australia

PUBLISHED November 16, 2012

Following suspicions that a yacht named JeReVe may be transporting drugs, the Australia Federal Police (AFP) joined forces with the Tongan Police, Cook Islands Police and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to search for the vessel.

They found the yacht after it ran aground on the island of Tonga, where they discovered 440lbs (204kg) of cocaine concealed in the hull and a badly decomposed body.

"As a result of a marine recovery effort in that region a vessel was identified and a badly decomposed body of a male person was located on board that vessel. Also located on board that vessel was 204 one kilo blocks of cocaine destined for the Australian market," said AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner David Sharpe.

"The seizure of the 204 kilogrammes of cocaine has successfully stopped approximately $116 million dollars (£75 million) worth of cocaine reaching Australia's shores," said David Sharpe.

Tonga's coroner is investigating the cause of death of the man on board.