Yacht carrying tonne of drugs found stuck on west Australian reef

SYDNEY (DPA) - Around one tonne of cocaine and Ecstasy was found after a search of a yacht that struck a reef off the coast of Western Australia, police said on Thursday (Sept 5).

A 51-year-old French man and a 34-year-old English man were charged with attempting to smuggle the illegal drugs in the 15m yacht.

The yacht had hit a reef and ran aground in the remote Abrolhos Islands, 60km west of the state's mid-west coast.

Police said the drugs were packed in 40 bags and had an estimated street value of more than A$1 billion (S$942 million).

A local fisherman alerted police to the stricken yacht. When police came to rescue the crew, they found the yacht abandoned, but suspected drugs had been concealed on board.

Police said they found the two men hiding on a nearby deserted island with bags of drugs hidden under seaweed.