Port Botany: AFP publishes photos of $280m cocaine seizure on freighter

Police have released photos of a jaw-dropping haul of 700kg of cocaine found hidden on a cargo ship moored at Sydney’s Port Botany.

On July 22, Australian Border Force officers discovered the cocaine, worth an estimated $280 million, hidden in denim bags inside a shipping container marked as containing wooden products .

Officers seized 28 bags each containing approximately 25 kg of cocaine packed in compact bricks.

Authorities say forensic examination of the bricks of cocaine revealed they had been marked with emblems, including numbers like 365 and the word “Netflix.”

The freighter was allowed to continue on its way after officers conducted preliminary investigations.

Australian Federal Police Detective Inspector Luke Wilson said he had docked at ports in Central and South America before arriving in Australia.

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

“The interception of this amount of drugs would be a major blow to a well-resourced syndicate and prevent millions of dollars in drug profits from flowing back into the syndicate to fund their lavish lifestyle or their next criminal enterprise.”

According to AFP, the huge cocaine bust averted more than $451 million in drug-related harm, including related crimes, lost productivity and healthcare costs.

Australian Border Force NSW Detained Goods Superintendent Joanne Yeats said the massive haul showed Border Force officers’ expertise in detecting illegal drug shipments.

“We continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure the Australian community is safe from the importation of dangerous drugs,” she said.

AFP notes that 1 kg of cocaine can fetch up to $400,000 on the east coast of Australia, depending on the availability and purity of the drug.

The seizure comes as Australia is in the midst of a cocaine shortagewhich means that the wholesale price of 1 kg of cocaine is now at least $130,000 more expensive than it was before the pandemic.

According to the police, the national demand for illicit drugs remains high and the increase in the number of people who use drugs is of concern.

Originally published as Police release photos of $280m cocaine seizure seized from freighter