Drugs hidden in plane’s airframe: police

The chartered plane in which the drugs were hidden. Picture: NT Police.
The chartered plane in which the drugs were hidden. Picture: NT Police.

Traffickers tried to hide drugs inside a charter plane's airframe before being sniffed out by a trained dog, police have claimed.

Groote Eylandt police have charged a 19-year-old man with drug offences following his arrest at Umbakumba Airport yesterday afternoon.

Groote Eylandt is a remote island in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

About 2pm Monday, three men and a woman departed Numbulwar on a charter plane bound for Umbakumba.

They arrived at the airport where they were greeted by police.

Drug detector dog Bear searched the passengers, their eight bags, and the aircraft.

Bear provided a drug positive response for one of the males, one bag, and the aircraft interior.

The deal bags of cannabis. Picture: NT Police.

The deal bags of cannabis. Picture: NT Police.

A subsequent search resulted in seizure of:

  • 109 deal bags of Cannabis inside one bag
  • 1 deal bag secreted into the aircraft floor

It is estimated that these the drugs would have yielded $15,000 in the community.

The 19-year-old man ran from the area once the cannabis was located.

He was pursued by police and arrested on the dirt airstrip.

He was charged with:

  • Possess Trafficable Quantity Cannabis
  • Supply Dangerous Drug in Community
  • Resist Police

He was refused bail and remanded in custody.

The man is due to appear in Darwin Local Court tomorrow.

A second man, aged 19, was issued with a drug infringement notice and a notice to appear in court.