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A small plane headed to Australia from Papua New Guinea crashed last week because it was overloaded with cocaine, per FOX 5 New York.
Australian Federal Police announced Saturday that a Cessna model light aircraft planned on departing with the cocaine in tow from a remote airstrip at Papa Lea Lea in the early afternoon of July 26, and climbing to about 3,000 feet to avoid radar detection, but the plan fell apart moments after takeoff. The AFP suspects that greed hampered the plot because the plane was carrying more than $80 million worth of cocaine.
The press release notes that this amount is the equivalent of about 500,000 street deals, you know, just in case you were curious.
The Guardian reports that when the plane was found outside Port Moresby, it didn't have any cargo or a pilot inside. It was later discovered that the aircraft was registered earlier this year to Geoffrey Bull Paul, the sole director of a company called Ravenpol No 69 Ltd., five months after he was stabbed to death.
Five days after the crash, detection dogs used by the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary uncovered 28 bags of cocaine. Five members of a crime syndicate based in Melbourne were ultimately arrested and charged with conspiring to import 500 kilograms, or about 1,102 pounds, of cocaine.
Papua New Guinea prime minister, James Marape, hopes this bust will send a message to everyone else who wants to use the country to transport large quantities of drugs. "We are not a banana republic where anyone can pick up a plane and just come into PNG unannounced," Marape said. "We will have no place for those who think they could peddle drugs in this country."