Arrest in huge $150m coke bust

 

Queensland Police have swooped on a Bryon Bay property in connection with an alleged plan to import almost 600 kilograms of cocaine.

The Queensland Joint Organised Crime Taskforce investigation saw a 43-year-old Byron Bay man charged today with aiding or abetting the importation of drugs.

Police allege he was involved in trying to import the cocaine into Australia last year.

It follows the arrests of Dru Anthony Baggaley, 37, and Anthony Trevor Draper, 54, on July 31 in a small boat off the NSW coast for their alleged role in the criminal enterprise.

Baggaley, the younger brother of Olympic kayaker Nathan Baggaley, and Drapper had been approached by authorities before fleeing and jettisoning 587 kilograms of cocaine into to the sea, police allege.

Police will allege the Byron Bay man arrested today played a key role in arranging the importation and facilitating the payment for the boat used to collect the cocaine with money provided by the criminal syndicate.

Among items seized from his home were cash, a quantity of white powder and encrypted mobile phones.

He is expected to appear before Byron Bay Local Court this afternoon, where police will apply for his extradition to Queensland.

Police last year told the Brisbane Supreme Court that police had identified additional potential members of the syndicate including Nathan Baggaley.

Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker, from the Drug and Serious Crime Group, the taskforce was disrupting serious and organised crime.

"We will leave no stone unturned to stop dangerous drugs impacting on the Australian community," he said.

The taskforce comprises members of Queensland Police, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Border Force, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre and the Australian Taxation Office.