DRUG FIND - Solomon Star News


31 July 2020
Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau.

Amphetamine found on yacht



SWABS collected from items seized from inside Mo Chuisle – the yacht that illegally entered our country last month- have tested positive for a drug called amphetamine.

Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau revealed this on Thursday during the police weekly media conference at the Rove Police headquarters.

Mr Mangau said a chemical liquid found in a plastic bag inside the yacht’s cabin was tested positive for amphetamine.

Amphetamines are highly addictive drugs that stimulate the central nervous system.

Mr Mangau said police also found parcels during their search inside Mo Chuisle which were linked to parcels and drugs found on another yacht that was recently arrested by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in Australia.

Matthew Adam Carter, 38, Charles James Ewan Glenny 54 and Braeton Hunter Mitchell, 30 are three men who travelled onboard Mo Chuisle and who illegally entered our country on the evening of June 19.

Cater, Glenny and Mitchell were taken by relevant authorities that night and quarantined for 14 days. 

After their 14 days quarantine, they were charged and fined $6000 each for offences under the State of Public Emergency. 

The charges are for the prohibition of entry of non-citizens contrary to clause 4 of the Emergency Powers (Covid-19 (Prohibition of Entry of Non-Citizens) Order 2020 as read with Regulations 8 (1) (2) and (3) of the Emergency Powers (Covid-19) Regulations 2020.

Carter, who is the owner and master of the yacht was also fined $100 for the charge of restrictions as to passengers contrary to section 90 (1) (2) of the Customs and Excise Act.

On July 24 the three men were deported out of the country and upon their arrival in Brisbane, Australia, they were arrested by the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

This is for their alleged roles in a criminal conspiracy to import one ton of methamphetamine into Australia. 

The methamphetamine was found inside yacht La Fayette which was intercepted by the Australian Federal Police off the New South Wales coast near Lake Macquarie on April 18.

According to Mr Mangau, it was alleged that yacht Mo Chuisle transferred the consignment into another yacht in waters near Norfolk Islands.

That yacht travelled to Australia, while Mo Chuisle went on to New Caledonia and then came into the Solomon Islands.

Mr Mangau said police investigation also found that yacht Mo Chuisle’s tracking device or Automatic Identification System (AIS) was intentionally turned off when it entered the local waters.

The investigation comprised of Australian police in collaboration with agencies from the United Kingdom (UK) and New Caledonia.

Mr Mangau said police received information of the trio’s alleged drug involvement on the same day Mo Chuisle arrived in the country.

He said the information was passed through Pacific Trans-national Crime Co-ordinate Centre (PTCC), a body that linked all transnational crime unit in the region to share information in relation to transnational crime.

He said had it not for the State of Public Emergency police would have seized and searched the boat straight away upon its arrival from the intelligence they received.

However, the commissioner thanked his officers from the Forensics and National Criminal Investigation Department for their good work and their capability in doing the tests and confirming the drugs involved in the case of the three men.

He said the tests were carried out when the three men were still in the country but they were already given deportation orders at that time.

He said the yacht is now seized by the Director of Immigration.

“It is immigration’s matter to deal with the yacht since it was seized by the immigration director,” Mr Mangau said.