The Australian Federal Police have seized more than 400 kilograms of cocaine from a Cyprus-flagged ship called Kypros Bravery which sailed in South Australia waters.
Police saidd on Saturday the drugs would likely lead to “payback” in the criminal underworld, and is warning of further arrests.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) assistant commissioner Peter Harvey also said the drug bust was the result of a multi-agency investigation into organised international crime.
“The investigation was launched in mid-March after an assessment of intelligence that suggested a commercial bulk-carrier ship, the Kypros Bravery, was to be used to traffic illicit drugs into Australia,” he said.
Assistant Commissioner Harvey said police believed the drugs were dropped off at a predetermined location in “deep waters” off the Yorke Peninsula on March 15.
Volunteer coast guard members confirmed they had rescued a small boat that ran out of fuel in Investigator Strait, near Kangaroo Island, on the same day.
“The Australian Border Force conducted a methodical, arduous, and endless search of the ocean area and located the shipment on the 18th of March,” Assistant Commissioner Harvey said.
Assistant Commissioner Harvey said the scale of the cocaine shipment indicated Adelaide was not its sole destination.
The multi-jurisdictional investigation between the AFP, South Australian Police, Australian Border Force, Department of Home Affairs, and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission continues.
Four Filipino crew members — Alcris Dente Mabini, Mark Torrenueva Enriquez, Angelito Devalque Balansag and Ian Gelan Dizon — were charged with drug importation before the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court.
The men did not apply for bail and will face court again later this month.