A damaged $560,000 yacht at the centre of an alleged $1 billion drug case at the Abrolhos Islands will go to auction next month – with bidding expected to start from $95,000.
Australian Federal Police Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce National Co-ordinator, Detective Superintendent Kate Ferry, said while the yacht may not be in a pristine condition, its purchase would “give the new owner an interesting tale to tell”.
In a statement today, the AFP said while a 2010 Jeanneau 57 DS Sun Odyssey Yacht fetched about $560,000 new, the auction would seek buyers over $95,000.
The Sail Yacht Zero was damaged when the skipper struck a reef, sparking a sea search which led to the unravelling of the alleged drug smuggling operation.
The Official Trustee in Bankruptcy has launched an online auction for the yacht but prospective buyers can view the vessel in Geraldton on November 30 and December 1, before bidding closes on December 10.
Authorities will allege the 17-metre yacht was used to try to import one tonne of illicit drugs into Western Australia.
It will be alleged the vessel was involved in transporting about 900 kilograms of cocaine, MDMA and methamphetamine, which were found on Burton Island, in the Abrolhos Islands, about 60km west of Geraldton, on September 3.
Five men have are facing serious drugs charges in relation to the incident.
They will face Perth Magistrates Court on January 17, on charges which carry penalties ranging from 20 years jail to life imprisonment.