Huge drug haul found on boat in Tonga

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 17:46 16/11/2012

Relevant offers

World

Barack Obama first US president to visit Hiroshima Producer Stephen Rice gone as report finds systemic failures Babysitter Courteney Matthews charged over crash that killed police officer's child Families told to avoid travel to France as strikes cause fuel shortages, flight delays Ukrainian who posed as student faces federal fraud charges An Australian man arrested over Bali flight 'prank' For world records, Indian man removes teeth and gets over 500 tattoos Serial killer Joanna Dennehy 'plotted to escape by using severed fingers' Neanderthal cave rings are mankind's first structures Spielberg to Harvard graduates: Be the movie heroes of real life

Police have found 204 kilograms of cocaine and a badly decomposing body on a yacht that washed up in Tonga last week.

The drugs, valued at about US$116 million (NZ$123 million), were hidden in the hull, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The 13-metre yacht JeReVe left Ecuador in August, laden with 204, 1kg blocks of cocaine which authorities believed were destined for the Australian market, the ABC said.

Contact with the vessel was lost on October 5. Australian police said it was found washed up on the isolated atoll of Luatafito a month later.

The Australian Customs Service believed two crew members were on board when the vessel left Ecuador.

Australian forensic pathologists have been sent to Tonga to help with the investigation and an autopsy was being conducted on the body.

Earlier Tongan police commissioner Grant O'Fee would only say that the yacht had been found.

"The yacht is being treated as a crime scene since a death occurred. Police at this stage have not ruled the death as suspicious but it remains an unexplained death," O'Fee he said.

O'Fee said that the body had not been identified and no cause of death established.

"But I can confirm that this man is not a Tongan national," he said.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content