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Port Botany: AFP publishes photos of $280 million confiscated cocaine from a cargo ship

Police have released pictures of a 700kg dose of cocaine that was found hidden on a cargo ship docked in Port Botany in Sydney.

Australian Border Force officers on July 22 discovered cocaine, valued at $280 million, hidden in bags of denim inside a shipping container marked as containing wood products.

Officers confiscated 28 bags, each containing 25 kilograms of cocaine packed in pressed bricks.

Authorities say a forensic examination of the cocaine bricks showed that they were tagged with logos, including numbers such as 365 and the word “Netflix.”

The cargo ship was allowed to continue on its way after officers conducted preliminary investigations.

Australian Federal Police Inspector Luke Wilson said the ship docked at ports in Central and South America before arriving in Australia.

“We are still investigating where the drugs were loaded and who was planning to collect them in Australia,” he said.

“Intercepting this amount of drugs would be a huge blow to a well-resourced syndicate, and prevent millions of dollars in drug profits flowing back into the syndicate to fund their luxury lifestyles or their next criminal enterprise.”

According to AFP, the massive cocaine seizure has prevented more than $451 million in drug-related damages, including related crimes, lost productivity and health care expenses.

Joanne Yates, Police Inspector for New South Wales, said the massive shipments demonstrated the expertise of Border Force officers in detecting illegal drug shipments.

“We continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that the Australian community remains safe from the import of dangerous drugs,” she said.

AFP reports that one kilogram of cocaine can fetch up to $400,000 on the east coast of Australia, depending on the availability and purity of the drug.

The seizure comes as Australia suffers from a cocaine shortage, meaning the wholesale price of one kilogram of cocaine is now around $130,000 more expensive than it was before the pandemic.

Police say the demand for illegal drugs nationwide remains high and the increase in the number of people using drugs is worrying.

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