Five men charged after $15 million of meth found on alleged 'black flight'

Five men have been charged after a light plane flying under the cover of darkness from Papua New Guinea was intercepted in Queensland, allegedly with more than $15 million of methamphetamine on board.

The Australian Federal Police claim that on Monday, the pilot, a 51-year-old Fairy Meadow man, and co-pilot, a 52-year-old Tahmoor man, flew a twin-engine Beechcraft light aircraft from Wilton, south-west of Sydney, to the town of Bulolo in PNG, which is more than 250km north-west of Port Moresby.

The pilots allegedly collected 52kg of methamphetamine in PNG and then returned to an airstrip at Monto in Queensland.

The men allegedly flew at an unauthorised low altitude with the aircraft's transponder switched off during the return journey in an effort to avoid radar detection.

Police arrested the two men on the plane, as well as three men accused of serving as support crew in Monto, when the aircraft landed at the Queensland airstrip.

Following the arrests, the AFP and NSW Police officers executed search warrants at four homes and businesses in Wilton and Tahmoor, the Wollongong suburb of Fairy Meadow, and the Newcastle suburb of Wallsend.

During the warrants, police allegedly seized electronic devices, firearm parts, drug paraphernalia and documentation referencing aircraft parts and travel to PNG.

The five men are accused of being part of a trans-national organised crime group.

All five men were charged with importing a commercial quantity of methamphetamine and could face life imprisonment if convicted.

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Story first published by: Nine 9News

Nine 9News