A light aircraft crashed while trying to take off for Australia since it was overloaded with cocaine and exposed a Melbourne-based crime syndicate in the event, multiple media and Australian Federal Police (AFP) reported.
The incident took place on July 26th, when a light aircraft crashed while taking off for Australia, overloaded with 500kg of cocaine, Australian police said on Saturday.
According to reports, the Cessna – the smuggler group – aircraft was trying to take off from a remote airstrip in Papua New Guinea with the smuggled cocaine weighing 1,100 pounds worth A$80m ($57m; £44m).
“The AFP alleges the aircraft flew at about 3000 feet from Mareeba to PNG, in an effort to avoid radar detection. These flights are dangerous for other aircraft as well as those on board, in addition to being illegal and unauthorized,” the statement read.
According to police officers, “greed played a significant part in the syndicate’s activities” and that the overweight of the smuggled good played a role in crashing the lightweight aircraft.
The whole ordeal has had five accused caught in the recent days in Queensland and Victoria, all of whom have been charged with multiple offenses apart from smuggling. The five men were believed to be working for an Italian Mafia.
AFP reports, the pilot was arrested two days later, after he surrendered to the police. The accused faces life in prison if convicted.
“These arrests prove no matter how sophisticated or opportunistic organised crime’s attempts are, or the methods they use, law enforcement is keeping pace and causing maximum damage to these criminal ventures,” Deputy Commissioner McCartney said in a statement.