A small plane took off from Papua New Guinea to Australia so loaded down with cocaine that it crashed. It was loaded to the gills with 500 kilograms of cocaine – that’s approximately 1102 pounds. The plane intended to fly at 3000 feet to fend off potential radar detection. It crashed very soon after take-off on July 26. The illicit cargo was estimated to be worth $80 million.
These flights are dangerous for other aircraft as well as those on board, in addition to being illegal and unauthorizedAustralian Federal Police (AFP)
A Melbourne-based crime nexus is allegedly behind this heinous attempt. Five members of the syndicate were arrested in Australia, charged with masterminding this operation. This development was confirmed by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) through a statement released on Saturday. A possible life imprisonment awaits the detainees if convicted.
The AFP “alleges greed played a significant part in the syndicate’s activities and cannot rule out that the weight of the cocaine had an impact on the plane’s ability to take off.”
A Plane Left Behind
On Tuesday, the pilot – an Australian national – surrendered himself to the Australia consulate in Papua New Guinea. He was slapped with an immigration offense. The plane was attempting a lift-off from an obscure airstrip at Papa Lea Lea, north of Port Moresby, in Papua New Guinea. The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) detected the partially-burnt aircraft, found empty in the field sans pilot and cargo.
With current interstate travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19, the attempt to import illicit drugs into Australia shows how opportunistic and greedy organized crime can be. Australian law enforcement remains committed to working collectively to protect Australia, which is especially important now, due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the community.AFP Deputy Commissioner Investigations Ian McCartney
Officials eventually seized 28 bags of cocaine, assumed to be the missing cargo to the doomed flight. The cocaine was seized by the RPNGC and “never made it to Australian shores, preventing significant harm to the Australian community.”
Talk of sinking not by the weight of expectations, but the weight of cocaine!