A Cessna model light aircraft that took off from an airstrip in Papua New Guinea was so overloaded with cocaine that it crashed in the jungle shortly after take-off.
Fox News reports that the Australian bound small plane was filled with $80 million worth of cocaine – that’s the equivalent of R1.34 billion.
Five members from a drug syndicate based in Melbourne were planning to transport it into Australia illegally. Authorities believe that the plane flew between Australia and Papa New Guinea at about 900 metres above ground in an attempt to avoid radar detection on 26 July.
On its return flight, it was unable to fly due to the 500 kilograms of cocaine loaded as cargo.
Reuters reports that the plane was found abandoned and empty, and that the drugs were recovered at a different location in the jungle on the island nation located north of Australia.
The Australian pilot presented himself to the Australian Consulate in Papua New Guinea after the crash. He has been arrested and charged with immigration offence.
According to the Mob Reporter, the drug syndicate has ties to Italy. Conspiracy theories have been doing the rounds that not all the cocaine bags were found by authorities. It is believed that some of the bags have gone missing between the time that they were hidden in the jungle by the smugglers and the time that they were found by the local police.
Watch the Mob Report video below for visuals on the plane crash and the cocaine that was hidden in the jungle.
Image credits: Reuters and Teller Report