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World Plane overloaded with cocaine crashes on take-off, exposing alleged crime syndicate

14:17  01 august  2020
14:17  01 august  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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(CNN) A light aircraft overloaded with cocaine crashed on take - off on its way to Australia, police said on Saturday, exposing a Melbourne-based crime Australian Federal Police said in a statement that "greed played a significant part in the syndicate 's activities" and added they "cannot rule out that the

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A small plane which crashed shortly after takeoff on a flight from a remote airstrip in Papua New Guinea to Australia last week was overloaded The five men were members of a Melbourne-based criminal syndicate , with alleged links to Italian organised crime , the police said.

A light aircraft overloaded with cocaine crashed on take-off on its way to Australia, police said on Saturday, exposing a Melbourne-based crime syndicate and leading to the arrest of five men with alleged links to the Italian mafia.

a small plane sitting on top of a runway: This Cesna aircraft was stuffed with more than 500 kilograms of cocaine. © Australian Federal Police This Cesna aircraft was stuffed with more than 500 kilograms of cocaine.

The Cesna aircraft, which was stuffed with more than 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of cocaine, went down while attempting to leave a remote airstrip in Papua New Guinea on July 26.

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Cocaine with an estimated street value of more than million has been seized by police after a plane crash in PNG. "The AFP alleges greed played a significant part in the syndicate 's activities and cannot rule out that the weight of the cocaine had an impact on the plane 's ability to take off ," a

A number of writers have alleged that the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was involved in the Nicaraguan Contras' cocaine trafficking operations during the 1980s Nicaraguan civil war. These claims have led to investigations by the United States government

Australian Federal Police said in a statement that "greed played a significant part in the syndicate's activities" and added they "cannot rule out that the weight of the cocaine had an impact on the planes (sic) ability to take off."

Five suspects were arrested in Queensland and Victoria in recent days, and have been charged with conspiring to import over 500 kilograms of cocaine and a number of related offenses. They each face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted. The pilot was also arrested two days later, after surrendering himself to police.

Authorities said the plane had flown to Papua New Guinea from the small town of Mareeba in Far North Queensland, flying at about 3,000 feet to avoid detection by radar.

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- Nigerian aircraft crash lands backwards after being overloaded . A video of an aircraft that crash landed backwards has become viral on social media. Due to the fact that money is not all that weighty, it is quite impossible to believe that overload of cash could have crashed a plane .

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The cocaine stash was eventually found on Friday after a search of the area. Its total value was estimated to be around 80 million Australian dollars ($57M USD), the equivalent of about 500,000 street deals.

"With current interstate travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19, the attempt to import illicit drugs into Australia shows how opportunistic and greedy organised crime can be," AFP deputy commissioner Ian McCartney said in a statement.

The arrested men -- aged 31, 36, 31, 33, and 61 -- were charged with a variety of crimes. The first man arrested faces charges of directing activities of a criminal syndicate and money laundering of over $1m AUD. A number of assets were seized by police, with an estimated total value of $3.5 million AUD.

The drugs bust is one of the largest in recent Australian history. In 2016, a similar-sized 500 kilogram haul of cocaine was seized by officers in New South Wales.

3 killed in small plane crash in western Germany .
BERLIN (AP) — Three people were killed Saturday when an ultralight aircraft crashed into a multi-family home in western Germany, police said. North Rhine-Westphalia police said the aircraft crashed into the roof of the house in the town of Wesel, sparking a fire, the dpa news agency reported. A small child suffered minor injures before the blaze was put out. The aircraft was capable of carrying two people, but police said it was not yet clear how many people were on board and the three people killed have not yet been identified.

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