Australian Law Enforcement Vows to ‘Disrupt Illicit Drug Supply Chains’ After Large Bust

August 18, 2020 Updated: August 18, 2020

Australian law enforcement authorities have vowed to keep working together to disrupt criminal activity as they did over the weekend when they seized hundreds of kilograms of drugs from a vessel off the coast of New South Wales.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Eastern Command Justine Gough said: “Our ability to work together using the resources and expertise of each of our agencies has again prevented the importation of illicit drugs into our community.”

“We are committed in our efforts to identify and disrupt illicit drug supply chains and cause maximum damage to organised crime business models,” she said.

Epoch Times Photo
The Coralynne is examined in Balmain, Australia. (Australian Federal Police)

NSW Police State Crime Commander, Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith, said organised criminal syndicates should see the weekend’s arrests a “warning.”

“… If you wish to take advantage of the community through illegal activity in NSW, law enforcement agencies in Australia will work together to dismantle your operation,” Assistant Commissioner Smith said.

Epoch Times Photo
Law enforcement authorities board The Coralynne off the coast of Newcastle, Australia on Aug. 15, 2020. (Australian Federal Police)

On Aug. 15, the Australian Federal Police (AFP), NSW Police Force (NSWPF), and the Australian Border Force (ABF) investigated a foreign vessel heading into Australian waters after receiving intelligence on Aug. 11.

The ABF Maritime Border Command (MBC) tracked the vessel’s progress.

The AFP released details of the incident in a media release on Aug 18:

“MBC, with the support of law enforcement partners and the Australian Defence Force (ADF), observed an Australian commercial fishing vessel, the Coralynne, approaching the foreign vessel and making an alleged at-sea transfer of illicit drugs bound for Australia.”

Epoch Times Photo
Law enforcement authorities arrest members of the Coralynne’s crew on Aug. 15, 2020. (Australian Federal Police)

The Coralynn’s three crew were arrested in the raid—a Hong Kong citizen aged 40, and two Australian males aged 27 and 32. They appeared before the court on Aug. 17 and were refused bail.

Investigators will allege the drugs were stored in the engine room.

Epoch Times Photo
The alleged engine room of the Coralynne (Australian Federal Police).

Authorities towed the vessel to Balmain on Aug. 16 for further forensic examination.

Investigators from the AFP, NSWPF, and ABF have also executed search warrants in the Sydney suburbs of Chatswood, Zetland, and Glenbrook in connection with the investigation.

Follow Caden on Twitter: @cadenpearson