Joseph Pirrello, the former managing director of Seafish Tasmania, has been arrested in relation to Australia’s biggest recorded cocaine haul.
Pirrello was one of 15 men apprehended by the Australian Federal Police for allegedly trying to smuggle 1.1 metric tons of cocaine, worth an estimated AUD 360 million (USD 264 million, EUR 250 million), into the country via fishing trawler. According to a report from ABC, Pirrello and company are thought to have arranged for a fishing trawler to meet a “mother ship” carrying cocaine out of South America while at sea, then using the trawler to bring contraband into Australia.
Authorities and investigators had been watching the drug ring for three years before making arrests late last year – Pirrello was arrested in Sydney on 25 December, and James Colin Collins, a director of fishing company Lorjona Pty, who was also allegedly affiliated with the drug ring, was arrested on 27 December.
Pirrello’s next court date is scheduled for 29 March, 2017, and Collins will appear in court once more on 11 January, 2017.