Sydney Times


Five arrested over black flight loaded with Meth-Operation Gepard  conducted by AFP

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Five arrested over black flight loaded with Meth-Operation Gepard  conducted by AFP

This is a joint media release by the Australian Federal Police, New South Wales Police Force, Queensland Police Service, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary

Five alleged criminal syndicate members accused of orchestrating a black flight from PNG to Australia with 52kg of methamphetamine on board have been charged under an AFP-led investigation.

Four of the five men, all from NSW, appeared before Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday (22 March, 2023) on charges relating to their alleged involvement in the black flight.

One man, 54, is scheduled to appear today (23 March, 2023).

A black flight is commonly a light aircraft that logs false flight plans (or no log at all), flies at a very low altitude or turns off flight monitoring systems to avoid law enforcement or aviation monitoring systems

It will be alleged the men charged were transnational serious organised crime (TSOC) members who handled the practical arrangements for the methamphetamine to be imported on board a black flight from PNG to rural Queensland. It will be alleged that once the flight landed in Queensland, the aircraft would be re-fuelled and flown to NSW. Three of the arrested men allegedly provided ground support for the flight and had staged themselves in Queensland since February in preparation for the flight. The two pilots who allegedly flew the black flight were also charged. The methamphetamine had an estimated street value of more than $15 million.

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