Three more men charged in Abrolhos Island drug operation

WA Police have arrested three more people for their involvement in an attempted international drug smuggling operation that was uncovered after a yacht ran aground the Abrolhos Islands last week.

A 45-year-old US man and a 35-year-old UK man along with a 50-year-old NSW man was apprehended at Perth Airport.

They have been charged with conspiring to possess a prohibited drug other than methamphetamine with intent to sell or supply, conspiring to possess methamphetamine with intent to sell or supply and two counts of possessing prohibited drugs with intent to sell or supply.

All three men were refused bail.

They are due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court today.

WA Police Assistant Commissioner Brad Royce from the State Crime Command said the drug smuggling operation was one of “sheer size.”

“We are continuing to learn more about where those drugs came from and who was involved,” Mr Royce said.

“(It) clearly indicates the involvement of an established criminal network.”

He added cooperation from other agencies including Australian Federal Police, National Crime Agency and Australian Border Force had helped produce ongoing developments.

“Such criminal networks are not confined to geographic boundaries, and through our inter-jurisdiction arrangements our investigators and intelligence officers can track their movements and associates further,” he said.

“There is still a lot more work to be done and our efforts will continue as we work our way towards the more senior members of the criminal network.”

The developments came as WA Police discovered over one tonne of cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA in the Abrolhos Islands off the coast of Geraldton last week.

The one tonne haul was estimated to have a street value of more than $1 billion.

They were found after a yacht was discovered stranded on a reef, prompting a rescue operation.

During the operation, police spotted two men on nearby Burton Island, who were allegedly hiding on the island after ferrying 40 bags of drugs there on a smaller vessel.

Police revealed that the men were trying to hide the drugs with seaweed.

A 51-year-old French national and a 34-year-old UK man appeared in Geraldton Magistrates Court on Thursday and are due to appear in a Perth court on September 20.

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