Giant seal derails suspects' escape in $900M Australian drug bust, police say

Five people have been arrested since police say officers uncovered the drugs on a western Australian island on Sept. 3, effectively bringing down an alleged international drug-smuggling ring.

A group of alleged drug smugglers definitely didn’t seal the deal after police seized $900-million worth of drugs in Australia.

Five people have been arrested since police say officers uncovered the drugs on a western Australian island on Sept. 3, effectively bringing down an alleged international drug-smuggling ring.

READ MORE: Guelph police seize $13K in drugs during traffic stop

According to police, two suspects were found on Burton Island with almost 2,000 pounds of cocaine and ecstasy concealed under seaweed.

After being spotted, police say the suspects attempted to escape but were stopped by a massive sleeping seal blocking their path.

“They woke it up, and it jumped up with its big chest out and bellowed at them,” Damien Healy, a volunteer marine rescue service member, told ABC radio.

The Western Australian Police Force shared images of the drug seizure, which included almost 2,000 pounds of cocaine and ecstasy hidden under a mass of seaweed.

The Western Australian Police Force shared images of the drug seizure, which included almost 2,000 pounds of cocaine and ecstasy hidden under a mass of seaweed.

The Western Australian Police Force shared images of the drug seizure, which included almost 2,000 pounds of cocaine and ecstasy hidden under a mass of seaweed.

The Western Australian Police Force shared images of the drug seizure, which included almost 2,000 pounds of cocaine and ecstasy hidden under a mass of seaweed.

The Western Australian Police Force shared images of the drug seizure, which included almost 2,000 pounds of cocaine and ecstasy hidden under a mass of seaweed.

The Western Australian Police Force shared images of the drug seizure, which included almost 2,000 pounds of cocaine and ecstasy hidden under a mass of seaweed.

Western Australian Police Force

This roadblock left them with one choice.

“The guys basically had the choice of going through the seal or getting arrested,” Healy continued. “They ended up choosing getting arrested.”

Police arrested Antoine Robert Dicenta, 51, and Kurt Palmer, 34, in connection with the drug seizure.

The Western Australia Police Force shared the news on its official Facebook page.

“Police have seized about one tonne of illicit drugs from a small island off the Geraldton coast after receiving information on Monday 2 September 2019 from the public about an apparently stricken yacht near Stick Island, located in the Abrolhos Islands group about 60km west of Geraldton,” the post reads.

 

According to the Facebook post, 40 bags were found on the island, with preliminary tests concluding they contained cocaine and ecstasy.

Healy said the first two men arrested were discovered after police received reports of a crashed yacht with its dinghy missing.

Officials searched the area by plane, and a crayfisherman reported someone ducking down to hide during the search, Healy said.

Three other suspects were also arrested and charged in Perth on Thursday.

WATCH: 2 separate Edmonton investigations net $800K in ‘insidious’ drugs, firearms

The Guardian reports Angus Bruce Jackson, 50, was arrested at the Perth airport while Jason Dean Lassiter, 45, and Scott Felix Jones, 35, were stopped in Perth on Wednesday.

Speaking to ABC radio, Western Australia police commissioner Chris Dawson said the three suspects were “the shore party,” allegedly ready to receive the drugs.

“We’ve disrupted a big international drug syndicate here,” he said.

READ MORE: Saskatoon police issue advisory following 5 overdoses, 1 causing death

The publication reports that Dicenta and Palmer went to court in Geraldton last week and will appear again on Sept. 20.

Meanwhile, Lassiter’s next court date is Sept. 26, Jones’ is on Oct. 8 and Jackson’s is Nov. 21.

None of the five men was given bail options. No word on whether or not the seal will receive any commendation.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

You May Also Like

Top Stories