The Australian Federal Police has charged the 51-year-old master of a bulk carrier for his alleged role in the plot to import 320 kg of cocaine into Australia.
The Montenegrin national was arrested on cargo vessel Interlink Veracity (IMO 9709269) early this week and later charged with importing a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs. The offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. He was alleged to have thrown packages with cocaine in them overboard to be collected by two men riding in a small boat. Both these men have been arrested.
The man was arrested after a forensic examination of a mobile device seized from him last week allegedly uncovered messages relating to the drug importation.
Authorities seized the cocaine – worth about $100m– in Port Hedland on May 15th and arrested two men whom they alleged had collected the plastic wrapped drugs from the ocean off the coast of Pilbara, Western Australia.
2016-built, Marshall Islands-flagged, 25,546 gt Interlink Veracity is owned by Veracity Management LLC care of Interlink Maritime Corp of Hamilton, Bermuda. ISM manager is Bernhard Schulte-HKG LP of Hong Kong, China. It is entered with Gard on behalf of Veracity Maritime LLC. As of May 24th the vessel was moored at Port Hedland, Western Australia.