The Australian Federal Police has charged the 51-year-old master of a bulk carrier for his alleged role in the plot to import 320 kg of cocaine into Australia.
The Montenegrin national was at South Hedland court today after he was arrested on the cargo vessel Interlink Veracity yesterday and later charged with importing a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs. The offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The AFP arrested the man after a forensic examination of a mobile device seized from him last week allegedly uncovered messages relating to the drug importation.
Authorities seized the cocaine – worth about $100m – in Port Hedland on May 15 and arrested two men who they alleged had collected the plastic wrapped drugs from the ocean off the coast of Pilbara.