SOUTH Australia Police is investigating a significant amount of cocaine found on board a ship docked at Port Pirie.

On Monday, 13 November 2023 crew from the ship contacted Port Pirie police to report suspicious packages found within the ship.

Police, accompanied by Australian Border Force, found 23 kilograms of suspected cocaine within the ship.

SAPol said members of the ship’s crew are assisting police with enquires.

Officer in charge of serious and organised crime branch Detective Superintendent Billy Thompson said: “the discovery of this amount of cocaine is very significant, it is estimated that the street value of drugs would be in excess of $8 million.”

Detectives from Serious and Organised Crime Branch are leading the investigation assisted by local police, SAPOL Water Operations, Australian Border Force and Australian Federal Police.

Investigations continue into the source of the cocaine and how it came to be on board the ship. Police said they have a number of active lines of enquiry but no charges have been laid.

Detective Superintendent Thompson urged anyone who has information about the drugs to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The general cargo ship ICS Silver Spirit arrived at Port Pirie on 12 November after leaving the Port of Burnie on 9 November, according to publicly available AIS data. The vessel remains at Port Pirie as of Thursday afternoon (16 November).

The vessel’s operator, Inco Ships, has been contacted for comment.