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Old 14-11-2011, 18:57   #1
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Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

Scary news today in the Courier Mail newspaper in Australia concerning a 17 m steel ketch that sailed in the Port2Port yacht rally from Vanuatu to Bundaberg, Australia. Apparently, the Spanish crew of four was partying up with other cruisers and were carrying $78 mn worth of coke. They were busted Saturday in the marina. Ironically, their yacht was named "Friday Freedom." Friday was their last day of freedom. Full article here: Life of pirate party before drug arrests | Courier Mail
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Old 14-11-2011, 19:28   #2
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

I guess not everyone has learned about Australian Customs.
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Old 14-11-2011, 19:44   #3
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

Fascinating. 300 kg of cocaine. That's some serious displacement.
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Old 14-11-2011, 20:13   #4
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

Summary executions anybody???
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Old 14-11-2011, 20:22   #5
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

this belongs in the worst advice thread...DVC
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Old 14-11-2011, 21:16   #6
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

Boy it must have been some party till they got busted. Of course 300kg was just for personal use.
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Old 14-11-2011, 22:26   #7
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

Just goes to prove that stupidity is still very much alive and well.
(Or that ignorance is bliss until you get unknowingly get shafted).

This story does make me wonder a little about the so called 'security' of travelling as a group, with the ARC also being a current topic. If you are a partygoer and leave your vessel unattended for any length of time, you leave yourself open to having stuff planted. As there is so much going on at that time it must be impossible for law enforcement to keep track of the comings and goings to and from all the different yachts.

For the sake of the discussion in general, how do we know that this was not planted? The list of boats is available in the public arena (well the ARC anyway), many are production boats participating with layouts readily available online. You study the layouts, inspect the many display models in any Marina, work out the right tools to bring, where the best place is to hide your stuff and so be ready when the time comes. In and out in 15mins...

Disclaimer: I am a law abiding citizen, and know nothing of how these things work

Bloke
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Old 14-11-2011, 22:52   #8
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

Quote:
Originally Posted by TassieBloke View Post
Just goes to prove that stupidity is still very much alive and well.
(Or that ignorance is bliss until you get unknowingly get shafted).

This story does make me wonder a little about the so called 'security' of travelling as a group, with the ARC also being a current topic. If you are a partygoer and leave your vessel unattended for any length of time, you leave yourself open to having stuff planted. As there is so much going on at that time it must be impossible for law enforcement to keep track of the comings and goings to and from all the different yachts.

For the sake of the discussion in general, how do we know that this was not planted? The list of boats is available in the public arena (well the ARC anyway), many are production boats participating with layouts readily available online. You study the layouts, inspect the many display models in any Marina, work out the right tools to bring, where the best place is to hide your stuff and so be ready when the time comes. In and out in 15mins...

Disclaimer: I am a law abiding citizen, and know nothing of how these things work

Bloke
plant 300 kelos? maybe 3 not 300!
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Old 15-11-2011, 02:58   #9
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

Not to mention the 4 weeks of video surveillance from before they left Vanuatu
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Old 15-11-2011, 20:42   #10
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

Two things.

1) This was not a random bust, but a nine month operation that followed them all the way from where the drugs were loaded. Clearly Customs had specific information about this boat and what it was carrying.

2) This is not Mexico. Customs and the Federal Police here are NOT prone to planting evidence.
Please. Whatever one thinks of Aust Customs (at times) somewhat heavy handed approach to cruising yachts, they are at least honest, professional and not corrupt.

I take exception to any suggestion that Australian Customs would plant drugs. More particularly, the size of the haul, some 300Kg, is not something that could be 'planted'. There is no doubt they are drug smugglers and the information released so far suggests that they are major smugglers who do this for a living and one of those arrested is the head of a very large drug importation operation.

No angst, just setting the record straight.


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Old 15-11-2011, 21:00   #11
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

I dont see any suggestion that Aust Customs planted anything....

Quote:
This story does make me wonder a little about the so called 'security' of travelling as a group, with the ARC also being a current topic. If you are a partygoer and leave your vessel unattended for any length of time, you leave yourself open to having stuff planted. As there is so much going on at that time it must be impossible for law enforcement to keep track of the comings and goings to and from all the different yachts.


All i read in the above post is the possibility is there at times for
"someone" to plant anything, which is true statement....

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Old 15-11-2011, 21:06   #12
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

@ AussieGeoff

I assume you are directing your statement to my comments above.

Having re-read my post, I can see that it could be misinterpreted to read that the ACS may have 'planted' the narcotics; my apologies for that. This is of course nonsense to think that this was planted by the ACS, and I would take exception to such a statement as well.

For the record, I want to state that was in no way my meaning. Our boys & girls in the ACS have difficult enough time covering our very long coastline as it is, and I do respect the great job that they do.

My intention was the raise the possibilty of an owner of a yacht participating in a rally, having narcotics planted by nefarious types during their absence (trips ashore, party going etc) given that the destinantion of the rally is known. It could provide an opportunity to turn an unsuspecting yacht owner into a means of transport without taking any risks (other than loss of the narcotics). And yes, 300kgs is a lot, so in this instance perhaps not so plausable, however in smaller volumes, an entirely plausible situation.

Hope this clears things.

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Old 15-11-2011, 21:18   #13
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

tassie blokie--h0w could that much stuff be planted---those were muling, not innocents--mebbe she or mebbe he may have been so-- buti think isnt the case--if they were object of a sting or being followed due to their suspicious behavior, they did it themselves.
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Old 15-11-2011, 21:19   #14
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

Fair enough mate. It seemed to me the implication was clear, however this is clearly not what you intended to suggest, so I withdraw the suggestion unreservedly.

It's not impossible a quantity of drugs could be planted at the country of origin, though I would think 300kg would be unlikely, a smaller amount perhaps, though ensuring that the crew didn't find it while at sea and simply pitch it overboard would be harder to engineer. Attached to the hull below the waterline would be far less difficult to do and unlikely to be detected by the crew and would probably not tip off a drug sniffer dog. I believe Customs do take a look below the waterline, so not necessarily a good solution. That said, a keel boat with a purpose built, carefully concealed, underwater compartment accessible only from underwater might make it plausible to smuggle smaller amounts of (well anything really) with little or no chance of detection without a haulout.

I think we are in agreement.

:^)

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Old 15-11-2011, 21:32   #15
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Re: Cruising Yacht Busted for Drug Smuggling in Oz

If they were watching them for so long, why did they wait until they got to OZ before busting them??
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