Australian Police Foil International Cocaine Smugglers

Australian police said Friday they foiled a plan to bring nearly three tons of cocaine into the country, the largest drug interdiction in the nation’s history. At a news conference, New South Wales State Police Commander Stuart Smith told reporters that officers had arrested three men for their roles in a conspiracy to bring drugs into the country. He said the amount was equal to the cocaine consumed in New South Wales in an entire year. Smith said authorities were first tipped off to the criminal enterprise early in 2020, when detectives noticed a man gambling a large sum of money in a casino. That led to an investigation, which eventually revealed a large international syndicate operating on four continents. Smith said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, acting on information from the New South Wales Police, intercepted 870 kilograms of cocaine as it was being transported off the coast of Colombia in October of last year. In April of this year, the U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a boat off the coast of Ecuador carrying another 900 kilograms of cocaine. The police commander said the operation culminated Thursday with the arrest of the three suspects in New Castle, New South Wales, who have been charged with conspiracy to supply prohibited drugs. 

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