Diver’s body found near packages of cocaine worth £11m in New South Wales
Officials in New South Wales are investigating the death of a diver who was found in an unconscious condition in the Hunter River at Newcastle, next to packages of cocaine weighing more than 50kg (100 lbs).
The man, wearing a high-end bodysuit used for diving, was found around 9am on Monday after a call was made to the emergency services to report an unconscious diver on the shore at Heron road, officials said.
Locals and paramedics from NSW ambulance services performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to revive the man but he could not be saved, police officials from New South Wales said in a release, adding that the diver died at the spot.
A probe has been initiated by the organised Crime Squad detectives into the death of the man, who has not yet been formally identified.
Officials confirmed discovering more than 50 kg of white powder in the immediate vicinity of the remains, adding that they are estimated to be worth $20mn (£11.3 mn).
Authorities from Newcastle City Police have established a crime scene from the clues available so far and it is being “examined by specialist forensic police”, officials said in a statement.
Continuing their probe on the incident, officials are trying to ascertain if the man was a drug mule in a larger operation and had gone to the spot to collect the cocaine packages.
Marine Area Command and Police Divers also searched the surrounding waters with the help of Australian Border Force on Tuesday.
Police said they also discovered two boats near the ship on Sunday night.
Detective superintendent Rob Critchlow said that the man was found in sophisticated dive equipment.
He added that if the link between the man and the drugs is established, it is likely that he was not acting alone.
“These people have fled so it’s quite disgusting that this man’s been left to die regardless of what he was involved with,” Critchlow said, calling it “pretty awful”.
The New South Wales authorities have sought help from the public to identify the smaller boats.
“Anyone with information that may assist Organised Crime Squad investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000,” the officials said seeking help from the public and asked them to not report information through social media pages.