Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Montenegrins busted importing cocaine to Oz

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) charged two senior crew members from a bulk cargo carrier for their roles in the importation of 850kg of cocaine into Australia. The men – the vessel’s master and chief engineer, both from Montenegro – faced the Perth Magistrates Court. The master was Milan Begović and the chief engineer as Radovan Vujičić. They were posted on the bulk cargo carrier ST Pinot. The pair planned to drop the load overboard off the Fremantle coast to be collected by another group. The master instructed crew members to alter the vessel’s course as it neared Fremantle Port to rendezvous with the vessel.

Milan Begović, Radovan Vujičić.
The planned exchange failed. The men tried to conceal the drugs by filling the ballast tank that the drugs were hidden in with water and instructed the crew to backdate logs and provide false information to authorities. The cocaine was found on the 58,000-dwt supramax St Pinot at Kwinana Bulk Terminal in Western Australia. The haul, with a street value of at least $375m, is among the country’s largest.
This is far from the first time Montenegrin nationals have been busted for importing cocaine. In Australia, a master was charged for his role in a plot to import 320kg of cocaine in May 2022.