The Cessna aircraft went down after take-off in Papua New Guinea on July 26. The plane had more than 1,100 pounds(500 kilograms) of cocaine. The plane was on its way to Australia, police said. According to CNN, it has led to the arrest of five men who are allegedly linked to the Italian Mafia.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) alleges greed played a significant part in the [crime] syndicate’s activities and cannot rule out that the weight of the cocaine had an impact on the plane’s ability to take off.
Five suspects were arrested and charged with conspiring to import over 500 kilograms of cocaine and several more offenses. They each face a maximum sentence of life in prison if found guilty.
Drug detection dogs identified trace amounts of cocaine at the scene, which led cops to the contraband that was stash after a four-day search.
The pilot who initially disappeared after the crash turned himself into police 2 days later. He was charged with immigration crimes.