Over $280 million in cocaine seized on containership in Port Botany

Photo: ABF

Police are seeking information about the criminal syndicate responsible for a 700-kilogram cocaine importation found hidden on a cargo ship at Sydney’s Port Botany, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) said in a joint statement on Saturday, August 6.

ABF officers discovered the drugs on July 22, 2022, during an inspection of shipping containers on the containership Maersk Inverness, which had arrived a day earlier.

The haul was found packaged in denim bags inside a shipping container described as containing wood products.

AFP investigators later seized 28 denim bags, each holding about 25 kilograms of cocaine in brick form. Forensic examination of the drugs identified different emblems on the bricks of cocaine, including the numerals “5” and “365” and the word “Netflix”.

Preliminary enquiries on the ship have been completed, and the vessel has been allowed to continue its journey.

Anyone with information about this matter is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

AFP Detective Inspector Luke Wilson said the containership had stopped at ports in Central and South America before making its way to Australia.

“We are still investigating where the drugs were loaded and who was planning to collect them in Australia,” Det-Inspector Wilson said.

“The interception of this amount of drugs would be a significant blow to a well-resourced syndicate, and prevents millions of dollars of drug profit flowing back into the syndicate to fund their lavish lifestyles or next criminal venture.

“The AFP estimates this seizure has saved the community more than $451 million in drug-related harm, including associated crime, healthcare and loss of productivity.”

Purchasers on Australia’s east coast can pay up to $400,000 for a kilogram of cocaine depending on availability and purity, with this amount of cocaine representing at least $280 million.


Published since 1978, Ausmarine is the foremost magazine servicing the Australian and New Zealand commercial, military and government marine sectors.