Six men accused of trying to smuggle $60 million of cocaine into Australia in an ex-Japanese whaling vessel are behind bars after police raids in two states.
The six appeared in courts in Queensland and Melbourne on Wednesday after being arrested and accused of trying to import 186kg of cocaine that was seized from a 50-metre former commercial vessel on December 12.
The alleged syndicate had been under surveillance for around a year before the boat was intercepted in international waters near Hobart on December 12, police said.
Four of the accused, Omer Tok, 39, Mohamed Kaddour, 47, Christopher Peroulis, 48, and Youssif Tawfik, 25, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court charged with attempting to import a commercial quantity of cocaine and were remanded in custody until May.
The court was told they suffered a variety of ailments.
In Queensland, Vasilious (Bill) Triantafilopoulos appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court where an order was made to extradite him to Melbourne.
Moshey Youkhana will also be extradited to Melbourne after he faced the Southport Magistrates Court.
Ten men, who were found on board the boat, nine Chinese and one Singaporean, were charged last year over cocaine haul.