After almost three years of international investigation from several oceanic nations, six men (aged between 32 and 66) have been charged with the importation of 1.4 tonnes of cocaine (the largest seizure in Australian history).
According to the statement by the Australian Federal Police, the investigation involved the New Zealand Customs Service (NZCS), Organised Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand (OFCANZ), the Fijian Transnational Crime Unit, French Polynesian authorities and the Australian Border Force (ABF).
In August of 2014, the NZCS contacted the AFP with intelligence about a drug importance conspiracy into Australia.
The AFP are expected to claim the vessel used to travel from New Zealand to collect drugs from the mothership in January.
On the 2nd of February, the HMAS Bathurst intercepted the vessel (Elakha), after two crew members were detained, black bags containing 1422 kilograms of cocaine were discovered - with an estimated street value of $312million.
The following day, three other men were arrested, allegedly planning to board the Elakha.
On the 5th of February the HMAS Bathurst returned to Sydney with the Elahka and it's detained crew members who were immediately charged with conspiracy to import drugs. The maximum penalty for the importation is a life sentence.
Source: Australian Border Force