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In Australia, a major cocaine bust

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:57 AM EST, Tue November 15, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Australia law enforcement officials seize 300 kilograms of cocaine from yacht
  • Four Spanish nationals were arrested in connection with the cocaine seizure
  • Police also seized an additional $3 million in cash in searches related to the drug bust

(CNN) -- Law enforcement officials seized 300 kilograms of cocaine from a yacht in a coastal town off of Queensland, the Australian Federal Police said.

The cocaine, with a street value of up to $79 million, was found stashed in the hull of the yacht by police this past Friday. Police arrested four Spanish nationals in connection with the raid.

The bust is believed to be the fifth largest cocaine seizure in Australian history, police said on Monday in a news release.

The yacht, named Friday Freedom, was under close investigation by the Australian Federal Police for its links to an organized crime syndicate and was tracked as it headed from Vanuatu to Australia on October 14.

Two of the Spanish nationals arrested were living aboard the yacht and another two were arrested after they were discovered allegedly meeting the yacht in the northeastern coastal town of Bundaberg.

Police also seized an additional $3 million in cash in searches related to the seizure.

The four arrested appeared in a Bundaberg court on Monday to face charges related to importing cocaine. Australia Associated Press reports they remain in custody and another hearing is set for January 12. If convicted, they could face life in prison.

Authorities said this is the second significant cocaine seizure on a yacht in just over 12 months.

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