A shark fisherman, a gang of tattooed Asian pirates and $ 50 million of missing cocaine: how the authorities lost track of a huge drug shipment headed for Australia
- The authorities of Papua New Guinea and Australia lost the trail of cocaine worth $ 50 million
- The drugs were originally found buried on an island in the sea of Solomon
- A shark fisherman found the cocaine tucked into 11 canvas bags and took them
- He brought the drugs to a village near Budi Budi Island in front of Papua New Guinea
- Later, however, a gang of tattooed Asian men arrived by boat and seized it.
Bianca Bongato for Daily Mail Australia
Authorities in Papua New Guinea and Australia have lost track of $ 50 million worth of cocaine after it was discovered originally buried on an island and then taken by a gang of Asian pirates.
The drugs were originally found by a shark fisherman last May after seeing a rope in the water that was buried under a piece of sand on an island in the Sea of Solomon, according to The Australian.
He found the cocaine stuffed inside 11 canvas bags and immediately took it to a village near Budi Budi Island, about 700 kilometers east of the capital of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby.
Later, however, a gang of tattooed Asian men arrived by boat and seized drugs, which were suspected to be heading to Australia.
The authorities of Papua New Guinea and Australia lost the trail of cocaine worth $ 50 million after it was discovered originally buried on an island and taken by a gang of Asian pirates (stock image)
PNG and the Australian authorities intervened and arrested six men from Hong Kong and one man from Montenegro.
Despite the arrest, the bags of cocaine were not with the men. According to The Australian, only a small amount was found inside a pack of cigarettes.
The boat that the authorities located could not be inspected because it was full of explosive traps.
The boat was also too heavy to tow, which prompted the police to abandon it somewhere near the Siassi Islands.
The seven men were escorted to Alatou, the capital of the province of Milne Bay. They pleaded guilty to immigration crimes and are expected to be tried on drug charges.
PNG Regional Chief Inspector George Bayagau said police speculated that the smugglers encountered other ships after taking cocaine.
"We think there was a change," he said.
In August 2017, French authorities also seized 1.5 tons of cocaine bound for Australia when they were on a ship off the coast of New Caledonia, making it one of the largest anti-drug raids ever registered.
Organized crime in the Pacific has become a growing concern in the region, given that the remoteness of the islands makes it a safe haven for traffickers to become involved in drug trafficking (stock image)