Australian Law Enforcement officers have successfully intercepted a Black Aircraft carrying 52 kilograms of methamphetamine worth AU$20 million and apprehended 5 men in connection to the aircraft.
Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, Commissioner David Manning says this successful interception of a black flight aircraft and apprehension of five men in Queensland, Australia was a collaborative effort between PNG and Australian law enforcement agencies.
As per the Commissioner, the black flight is a small aircraft used to fly undetected into certain areas to pick up and deliver illicit drugs.
They mostly use remote unmonitored airstrips, which PNG and North Australia have.
These black flights are conducted by criminal mega minds to transport narcotics in PNG and within Australia.
Manning mentioned that it was part of an ongoing investigation between the RPNGC, the Australian Federal Police and other Law enforcement agencies since last year.
He added that this has allowed for a wider net in place and now the fruits of their labour has paid off with the apprehension of transnational offenders.
“With our partners we are committed to make our pacific region a hostile and disruptive environment for the transnational criminal element. We are also committed to strengthening our drug legislation to ensure that penalties reflect the severity of offending here in PNG.”
A 42-year-old male Chinese national has also been detained in relation to the incident at the Lae airport and is currently detained for questioning by police.
He said the recent arrest shows the commitment of PNG and Australian partners to keep PNG and the Pacific family free from the scourge of narcotics.
A similar collaboration was previously attempted in 2020, which saw the pilot of a light aircraft (David Cutmore) sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.
He said four people remain before the court in PNG and four more remain before the court in Australia.