Captain Jimmy Blee once the owner of Asia Pacific Superyachts in Indonesia has been arrested as he tried to leave Cairns in North Queensland Australia on a flight to Singapore
Blee was arrested as he tried to leave the country on a flight to Singapore following death of drug mule diver
The diver died trying to recover 54kg of cocaine from sea chest in a cargo ship’s hull in Newcastle port
A superyacht shoreside agent has been accused of playing a major role in an alleged $20million cocaine smuggling operation.
Australian Police have launched an interstate taskforce after a drug smuggling operation went tragically wrong in Newcastle, NSW.
From stories published in Australian newspapers it would appear that the diver had been trying to recover a AUS$20 million drug haul hidden in a ship’s hull.
His body was found surrounded by large floating bricks of cocaine wrapped in plastic.
Police dive teams found a further 54kg of the drug in the underwater sea chest inside the hull of the Argentinean cargo ship which had arrived in Newcastle.
NSW detectives believe 300kg was originally stashed in the haul in the hull of the Argentinean cargo ship which docked in Newcastle, with 46kg successfully removed in Australia before the tragic death of the drug mule diver, leaving 200kg still to be accounted for.
Now Australian detectives suspect it may be linked to a similar ‘spectacular’ 179kg cocaine discovery found floating in the ocean off Indonesia at the weekend.
Jimmy Blee is set to be extradited to NSW on Friday to face charges of importing a large commercial quantity of border controlled drug and large commercial drug supply.
Jimmy Blee was a founding member of the Superyacht Agency Asia Pacific Superyachts when that firm opened up offices in Indonesia. He assisted yacht captains and helped yacht owners who flew in for dream trips into Indonesia and south-east Asia.
After Covid hit Indonesia, he and his Indonesian wife and their three teenage children returned to Australia, where he ran luxury yachting, fishing and diving tours around, North Queensland and the Whitsundays
In a podcast, broadcast by Superyacht Radio Jimmy Blee revealed how he and a mate spent much of the pandemic going on long fishing and cruising expeditions around the North Queensland coast to research new tour routes.
He also hoped to persuade Australian cruise trip holidaymakers to chip in with their mates to charter superyachts instead of waiting for cruise ships to resume.
He said “2020 for me was a real cathartic time where, after being in Asia for so long, I was able to sort of sit back and reflect.”
Blee will appear in Cairns Magistrates Court on drug smuggling charges and faces being extradited to New South Wales.
Police are probing to see if there is a connection between the tragic Newcastle drugs bust and Indonesia’s biggest ever cocaine seizure after 179kg of the drug was found floating near Java’s Merak port.
The Indonesian haul – valued at $80million – was found in four black plastic blocks, floating in the ocean off the docks.
‘This is a spectacular seizure of cocaine considering its huge value and the impact on the people as a result of the illicit drugs,’ said Indonesian Navy Vice Admiral Ahmadi Heri Purwono.
No-one has been arrested in connection with the discovery and local investigations are continuing, but it is understood Australian police have been in touch with their Indonesian counterparts.