SYDNEY, June 3 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Federal Police said on Friday that three men were arrested in relation to a transnational crime syndicate that attempted to smuggle more than 800 kg of cocaine into Australia.
According to a police statement, on May 24, the Western Australia (WA) Police Force and Volunteer Marine Rescue WA assisted the crew of a 10-meter cabin cruiser in distress near Rottnest Island, about 22 km off the coast of Fremantle.
Three men on board told police that they encountered engine trouble, but appeared to have limited boating experience.
After searching the vessel, police officers found 29 suspicious packages submerged in a water-filled ballast tank. Each of them contains numerous blocks of white powder, which returned positive results for cocaine.
Two men were arrested on Wednesday and taken into custody in Perth, while the third was arrested in Sydney as he tried to board a flight overseas.
The trio, aged 21, 25, and 29, were charged with attempting to import a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. Police noted that they could face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment if convicted.