Australian police seize huge cocaine haul being smuggled in yacht

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SYDNEY: A huge cocaine haul hidden in the hull of a yacht has been seized off the east coast of Australia, police said on Thursday. Some 700 kilos (1,543 pounds) of the drug with an estimated street value of Aus$245 million (US$186 million) were intercepted Wednesday about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Sydney, they said. Three men, alleged to have ties with Tahiti and Thailand, were arrested. Australian police worked with authorities in Tahiti, where the vessel passed through before entering Australian waters. Further arrest warrants have been issued in Thailand. With its high street prices, Australia is an attractive destination for drug smugglers. In August, police said the French navy intercepted a yacht bound for Australia with 1.46 tons of cocaine aboard. The boat was seized in the Pacific after setting sail from South America.

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