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Diver’s body found near packages of cocaine worth £11m in New South Wales

By Arpan Rai
New South Wales police

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.

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Dive Deeper:
Australian police find cocaine worth $14 million near body of diver
Australian police on Tuesday launched a probe after 50 kg (110 pounds) of suspected cocaine, estimated to be worth about…
Hunt for remainder of cocaine shipment worth $120m underway after diver's body found in Newcastle
Police say they only found "a portion" of a cocaine shipment they estimate has a street value of $120m near…
Drug smugglers strapping contraband to ships' hulls in bid to outsmart Australian port officials
The death of a scuba diver found floating near a ship docked at the port of Newcastle has exposed an…
Second crime scene set up in inquiry into dead diver, $20m worth of cocaine
Organised Crime Squad detectives are investigating after a diver died on the bank of the Hunter River, at Newcastle harbour,…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Police seek man and woman as investigations continue into cocaine diver's death in Newcastle
Police release CCTV images of two people they believe can help with inquiries over the death of a diver and…
Bale believed to have contained cocaine found up-river of port crime scene
The second crime scene established on the bank of the Hunter River, up-stream from where a diver died with $20…
Get all your news in one place