Over 200 kilograms of cocaine have been seized by Australian authorities in the Sydney port area. The shipment was allegedly being smuggled on board an MSC container ship.
The operation involved multi-agency cooperation, which was slated to track and apprehend the drugs as a local man strived to land them in the Sydney area.
As reported by the Australian authorities, namely the Federal Police, they received intelligence almost a week ago about a cargo vessel containing a large quantity of cocaine bound for Australia. Along with the New South Wales Police Force, Australian Border Force, New South Wales Crime Commission, and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Federal Police set up Operation Poitiers.
The goal was simple: intercept the narcotic shipment and arrest the individuals involved in the smuggling operation.
Panama flagged MSC JOANNA was thoroughly tracked by Australian authorities during its journey. Our AIS data suggests that the ship departed Europe in February transiting the Suez Canal before making stops en route to Australia.
The aerial surveillance carried out by Australian authorities showcases a small boat being launched from Sydney suburbs, and traveling to the MSC boxship, where 11 green lidded crates containing 199 blocks of cocaine were offloaded from the container ship.
On March 11, 2021, officials arrested a 27-year-old Australian national from the boat. Following the arrest, the MSC JOANNA was also thoroughly searched. However, no arrests were made. Officials refused to divulge information regarding the nature of their investigation and who aboard the ship might have supported the smuggling.