22 March 2023: Queensland, Australia

Five men were charged after a flight from Papua New Guinea to Sydney which was found to be carrying 52 kilograms of the drug methamphetamine. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) alleged the men, who were from New South Wales, are members of a “transnational serious organized crime syndicate.” The police had surveilled them for months. Police say March 22, two men co-piloted a twin-engine Beechcraft light aircraft from Wilton, south west of Sydney, to the rural town of Monto in Queensland’s North Burnett region, to refuel. They then flew to Bulolo in PNG, where they allegedly collected the meth. The pilots, Bernard Alexander, 51, and John Horvath, 52, flew back to central Queensland attempting to avoid detection by turning off the plane’s transponder and flying at low altitude. Three other ground personnel were also arrested.