Joint media release - The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Justice.
Australian law enforcement has uncovered more drugs on the yacht SOLAY after a detailed forensic search of the vessel’s structure.
Seventy kilograms of cocaine was seized by authorities when the vessel berthed at Coomera on the Gold Coast last week.
The yacht was then moved to a secure facility in Brisbane and lifted from the water to enable Australian Border Force and Australian Federal Police officers to carry out further searches of the vessel with the assistance of the Queensland Police Service.
Almost 30 more kilograms of cocaine was found within the internal structures of the yacht’s cabin as it was pulled apart over last weekend bringing the total amount of drugs seized from the vessel to approximately 100 kilograms.
The additional 30 kilograms is worth more than $20 million on the illicit drug market, making the total haul of approximately 100 kilograms worth around $100 million on the street.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton praised the work of the Australian Border Force, the Australian Federal Police and the Queensland Police Service.
“Intercepting these drugs means that around 100,000 drug deals have been prevented from taking place in our cities and towns,” Mr Dutton said.
“Families who’ve had a son, daughter or other family member hit by the scourge of drugs will be relieved to know that such a huge amount of cocaine has been kept from reaching the streets.
“We’re doing all we can to keep our borders secure to keep our communities safe. The Government is serious about protecting Australians and putting transnational criminals out of business.
The Minister for Justice Michael Keenan said organised crime gangs were an ongoing criminal threat to Australia.
“The Coalition Government is committed to undermining the business models of criminal syndicates peddling the misery of illegal drugs, which is wreaking havoc in our communities,” Mr Keenan said.
The yacht SOLAY arrived at the Gold Coast on Monday August 24. Five people have been charged by the AFP for importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug. All have been refused bail.