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Pong Su incident


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Pong Su incident: Incident
The Pong Su incident began on 16 April 2003 when heroin was smuggled from the Pong Su, a North Korean cargo ship, onto an Australian beach. Australian military special forces subsequently boarded the Pong Su in Australian territorial waters four days later. The ship was suspected of being involved in smuggling almost 125 kilograms (276 lb) of heroin into Australia with an estimated street value of A$160 million.


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Were they executed? The fate of the Pong Su crew when they got back to North Korea

Detective Appleby, who is the AFP’s senior liaison officer in Hong Kong, stressed that though it was his informed belief that as many as 26 of the 30 crew were executed, it was not a confirmed fact.
The Age - Published

After 16 years, North Korea finally stops denying Pong Su drug smugglers

For 16 years, two men at the centre of the Pong Su saga denied they were from North Korea, and the rogue nation disowned them. Last July, all that changed.
The Age - Published

'Take the fun out of drug trafficking' says Pong Su chief investigator

The Pong Su's haul of heroin was a record 150 kilograms. Nowadays, a tonne of drugs is a daily occurrence, says a senior AFP detective.
The Age - Published

The heroin shipped to Australia by the Pong Su was probably a knock-off brand

The heroin was bearing the Double UO Globe branding - one of the major brands in the illicit drug market. However it was revealed it was most likely a high-quality fake.
The Age - Published

Passing secret notes: How the Pong Su's radio operator broke ranks

Jong Dok-hong was in detention at Baxter immigration centre when he passed a series of notes to Australian authorities suggesting how they conduct their investigation.
The Age - Published

'They need a lawyer': The man who represented the Pong Su's North Korean crew

Jack Dalziel sent a letter to the North Korean embassy in Canberra saying the Pong Su crew needed him. A few weeks later, a group of men turned up at his office.
The Age - Published

'Outlaw' tattoos and fingerprints reveal identity of Pong Su drug trafficker

Chin Kwang Lee revealed to police, in custody, his distinctive dragon tattoo and four Chinese characters inked on his back roughly translated to "outside the law".
The Age - Published

Did North Korea's money making agency run the Pong Su heroin deal?

The ship has been linked to the Hermit Kingdom's Division 39, whose operations include running drugs. So, who was the money intended for?
The Age - Published

Meet the man who took over the Pong Su and steered it to Sydney

Nicholas Martin had a very important role in the Pong Su story, but it’s one he’s never talked publicly about until now.
The Age - Published

Loyal North Korean seamen feared the Pong Su's captain would be executed

The drug ship's captain was sick, pale and worried. But the situation almost got out of hand when Australian soldiers tried to take him away.
The Age - Published

How the plan to board the Pong Su was made on the map of a Qantas inflight magazine

The Master of the Pong Su had ignored police directive to take his ship to port, so the Australian Government sent in the SAS on extremely short notice.
The Age - Published

Extended interview: How the SAS captured the Pong Su

In an extended interview, two former SAS soldiers retell their role in the dramatic capture of the rogue North Korean cargo ship.
The Age - Published

Dramatic arrest of Pong Su drug mules captured on police video

The pair who picked up the heroin packages from the Pong Su had been followed by police for weeks but, in the end, acted in a most unexpected way.
The Age - Published

'It’s a dead person': Drug cops' grim discovery on a Victorian beach

Police went to Boggaley Creek beach to search for heroin from North Korean cargo ship the Pong Su. They found more than they bargained for.
The Age - Published

Grainy police footage shows Pong Su looking like ghost ship as it nears rendezvous

From the shore in Lorne the film, made by an AFP officer on the trail of suspected traffickers, shows the North Korean ship coming perilously close to shore in heavy swell.
The Age - Published

'That's something only the FBI can do': police listened as trafficker told mate they weren't being bugged

 Kiam Fah Teng and Chin Kwang Lee were in Australia to receive 150 kilograms of heroin from North Korean cargo ship the Pong Su.
The Age - Published

Mystery stops and a flag change: The Pong Su's erratic journey south

Episode two of our investigative podcast series traces Pong Su’s voyage to Victoria where it came dangerously close to shore to unload record amount of heroin.
The Age - Published

'Let's be in the dinghy': Why we told The Last Voyage of the Pong Su as a podcast

The creators of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald's latest podcast immerse us in the action of this extraordinary story. This is how it came about.
The Age - Published

Australia's biggest heroin bust started with a tip-off about one small, Malaysian man

The targets of the Pong Su investigation rented more rooms than they needed, hung around aimlessly in the city and drove frequently down to the Great Ocean Road.
The Age - Published

From the Archives, 2006: F-111 strikers bomb heroin boat Pong Su

In 2006, the North Korean freighter used to smuggle 150kg of heroin into Australia was destroyed off the coast of Jervis Bay by four F-111 strike bombers.
The Age - Published

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