Superyacht tour operator charged over drug bust
Queensland superyacht tour operator James Blee has been charged with multiple drug offences connected to a South American diver who drowned in Newcastle’s port this week. It’s alleged he was attempting to retrieve 54 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated $20 million from the hull of a cargo ship that arrived from Argentina on Sunday. Blee was arrested in Cairns as he attempted to flee to Singapore on Wednesday night – it’s believed he was nearby when the “very professional” drug smuggling operation was foiled after the unidentified diver drowned. NSW investigators have been searching for the drivers of 2 boats seen near the cargo ship on Sunday night, along with at least one other diver who was assisting the dead man. Last night, investigators said they believe the total haul was up to 300kg, with 179kg of it linked to Indonesia’s record seizure on Sunday. Blee is expected to be extradited to NSW today.
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