News Record $322m cocaine haul seized from Australia-bound yacht

Record $322m cocaine haul seized from Australia-bound yacht

cocaine haul yacht
The haul of 1.464 tonnes of cocaine seized from a yacht near New Caledonia. Photo: AAP/Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
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A massive cocaine haul bound for Australia in the hull of a yacht has been intercepted by the French Navy in the South Pacific.

The record-breaking 1.464 tonnes of cocaine was seized near New Caledonia on July 27, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission said.

The ACIC said four crew who were believed to be Lithuanian and Latvian were arrested.

The drugs have an estimated street value of $322 million.

ACIC officials worked closely with French authorities to foil the plot, which is believed to have been organised by a South American crime syndicate.

“Congratulations to the Marine Francaise and Gendarmerie Nationale for their efforts in relation to this record seizure of cocaine,” ACIC executive director of intelligence Col Blanch said in a statement.

“We are thankful for the action taken by French authorities which has stopped a significant amount of drugs reaching the streets of Australia,” Mr Blanch said.

The vessel has been towed to Noumea for further investigation and testing.