Police nab biggest ever cocaine haul

POLICE have allegedly uncovered a massive cocaine smuggling operating on the state's South Coast, with sources saying officers had seized one of the biggest hauls of the drug in recent times.

A New Zealand-registered boat, seized off the coast of New South Wales, is at the centre of a huge cocaine bust.

"Clearly this is an enormous blow to supply of illicit drugs in Australia, particularly cocaine", Australian Federal Justice Minister Micheal Keenan said.

The joint intelligence operation found a New Zealand man, 63, and a Swiss-Fijian dual national, 54, on board with the drug haul on Thursday night.

During the last 18 months, more than 11 tons of drugs have been blocked from entering Australia, according to official said.

In addition to the Kiwi and Fijian/Swiss national, police have arrested four Australian men and have charged three of them with conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

An AFP spokesman said Border Force officers assisted in the arrest of the six suspects.

"It also highlights the importance of our close working relationships with our local and internal law enforcement partners - without which this operation could not have succeeded", said Gaughan.

"Our partnerships enable us to act as one and our sophisticated intelligence capabilities and commitment prevent drugs reaching our communities".

Australia has made its largest cocaine haul after seizing a yacht carrying 1.4 tonnes of the drug with an estimated street value of A$312 million (S$337 million).

After the Elakha set sail on 2 February, it was intercepted by Australian border officials just after midnight.

  • Wendy Palmer