SYDNEY (AP) — Ten Chinese nationals were charged on Tuesday with drug smuggling in Australia after officials said they found a stash of cocaine worth more than 60 million Australian dollars ($44 million) on their ship.
Last week, the Australian Defense Force intercepted the 50-meter (160-foot) former research vessel off the island state of Tasmania, and escorted the boat to the state capital, Hobart. During a subsequent search, police found 186 kilograms (410 pounds) of cocaine on board, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said in a statement.
The 10 crew members, all men aged between 23 and 50, were charged with attempting to import a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug. If convicted, they could face a maximum penalty of life in prison.