Decomposing body and cocaine found on Pacific yacht

Decomposing body and cocaine found on Pacific yachtPA


Divers in the Pacific have found a shipwrecked yacht off the north coast of Tonga's main island - containing the decomposing body of a dead crew member and over 200kg of cocaine.

The Daily Mail reports that the 440ft yacht had been tracked by drug enforcement agencies ever since it left Ecuador in August. However, the authorities lost contact on October 5.

It appears that the boat ran aground on a reef and was then discovered by a group of divers who were exploring the area.

A second crew member is missing, and police don't yet know if he is dead or on the run.

The yacht, named JeReVe, contained 204 one-kilo blocks of cocaine. Police said today that the drug-smuggling voyage had been organised by a crime syndicate, and was believed to be heading for Australia.

BBC News reports that the drugs, which were hidden in the hull of the yacht, were estimated to be worth up to £75million.

Police have not yet established the identity of the man, or the cause of death.

Tongan police commissioner Grant O'Fee told Radio New Zealand: "We have considerable information about who's involved [in the drug trafficking], but we are struggling to identify the deceased person on board.

"There's nothing to suggest at this point that there's any foul play involved in his death. An autopsy examination will be carried out over this weekend, but I don't anticipate it's going to be an easy examination, for obvious reasons."

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