30 Oct 2017

January trial set for alleged New Caledonia drug smugglers

10:43 am on 30 October 2017

The three men detained with a huge quantity of cocaine on their yacht off New Caledonia will be tried in January.

Generic cocaine, drugs

Photo: AFP

The trio briefly appeared in the criminal court in Noumea after being formally arrested for having 578 kilogrammes of cocaine on board their yacht Amira Najia.

The value of the drugs was estimated at $US450 million.

The three men have been identified as a 69-year-old from the Netherlands, a 54-year-old from Peru and a 39-year-old from Poland.

To allow time for the defence, the court ordered their trial be put off until 19 January.

The suspects have been remanded to the Camp Est prison and are banned from being in contact with each other.

The yacht had raised suspicions when it headed towards Australia after reporting engine troubles to New Caledonia's rescue services.

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