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Australians Arrested In Belgrade In $400 Million Cocaine Case


Authorities in Serbia have arrested three Australian citizens as part of a joint investigation with Australian police in connection with the second-largest seizure of cocaine in Australia’s history.

The three men were arrested in a Belgrade hotel lobby on January 18 with a bag containing 620,00 euros ($784,000) and thousands of dollars in various currencies from Asia and Europe.

Police say they are linked to the discovery of 1.28 tons of cocaine that was seized last April on a Chinese freighter that was docked in Sydney.

One of the arrested men was identified as Rohan Arnold, a director of a regional livestock-selling center in Canberra called SELX Pty Ltd -- the South Eastern Livestock Exchange.

Police in Australia said the drug shipment, concealed in more than 2,500 individual blocks of prefabricated steel, had a street value of about $400 million.

After the arrests in Serbia, Australian police executed five search warrants in Canberra and in three towns in the Australian state of New South Wales.

No arrests were made in Australia, but investigations continue there.

The largest Australian drug seizure was a shipment of 1.4 tons of cocaine found on a yacht last February.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa
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