Two Norwegian men were reportedly caught red-handed when they allegedly tried to retrieve 82 kilos of cocaine fastened to the hull of a ship off the east coast of Australia last week. Police found them in full diving gear and they tried to flee, but are now in custody in Canberra.
Newspaper Fredriksstad Blad reported that police interrupted what they called a “sophisticated” smuggling operation after they’d already halted the ship, which was supposed to be carrying grain from China. The two men from Norway, in their 30s and 50s, were captured in a pre-dawn police operation using powerful spotlights on the water.
Australian prosecutors claim the Norwegians were part of an international crime syndicate and had flown to Queensland where they bought the diving equipment paid for by the syndicate, which also allegedly provided the men with an encrypted telephone that police have seized. State broadcaster NRK reported that the two men were receiving routine consular assistance from Norwegian officials in Australia.