Drug cartel diver dies attempting to recover nearly 60 KILOGRAMS of cocaine from a river – before his body is found floating beside the haul worth $20m
The body of a man wearing dive gear has washed up at a busy port with police suspecting he was trying to bring ashore a $20million-haul of cocaine using ‘old school’ smuggling tactics that are rarely seen by modern drug syndicates.
The unidentified diver was recovered from the water along with more than 50kg of cocaine off Heron road, alongside the Port of Newcastle, on Monday morning.
Detectives are now investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death including who the man may have been working for.
NSW Police investigator turned private sector consultant Peter Moroney recently revealed to Daily Mail Australia that an old tactic of drug traffickers trained in deep-water scuba diving.
‘Someone would fly to places such as Indonesia, identify a cargo ship then dive down and secretly attach drugs to the hull of the vessel,’ the veteran ex-cop of 25 years said.
‘When it arrived and was under anchor they would then unattach it and bring it back to an Australian port. So these drug syndicates are quite advanced.’
He said the smuggling tactic is rarely seen anymore with drug lords opting to move illicit product into Australia by using a ‘mothership’.
‘These days they send out a ‘mothership’ somewhere into the South Pacific where there’s little attention from local authorities and a vast amount of ocean to patrol,’ Mr Moroney said.
The vessel will then meet a cruising yacht and fill it up with either Colombian cocaine or Mexican meth.
Police said members of the public and NSW Ambulance paramedics commenced tried desperately to save the man, but he died at the scene.
‘A number of packages – which contained more than 50kg of a white powder believed to be cocaine – were located in the immediate vicinity,’ NSW Police said in a statement.
‘The cocaine has an estimated potential street value of $20million.’
Detectives are yet to reveal if the drugs were floating in the water or recovered from the hull of a vessel.
A large-scale investigation is now underway involving officers from Newcastle City Police District, specialist forensic teams, Marine Area Command, the Australian Border Force and Organised Crime Squad detectives.
Police Divers will are continue to scour the bottom of Australia’s largest coal port on Tuesday.
More to come.