Queensland superyacht tour operator extradited over cocaine diver’s death

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James Blee was charged with two offences. Photo/LinkedIn

The superyacht tour operator accused of playing a role in importing more than A$20 million ($22.2 million) of cocaine found near a dead diver earlier this week has been extradited to NSW.

James “Jimmy” Blake Blee was arrested at Cairns Airport in Queensland, allegedly attempting to flee the country and board a flight to Singapore.

He was later charged with importing a border-controlled commercial amount of drugs and supplying a prohibited drug with more than a large commercial amount.

The 62-year-old, who was denied bail by police, is expected to appear in Parramatta Bail Court over the allegations.

Strike Force Groove detectives sought Blee’s extradition to NSW at Cairns Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

A man drowned while trying to smuggle around 50kg of cocaine ashore near the port of Newcastle.  Photo/New South Wales Police
A man drowned while trying to smuggle around 50kg of cocaine ashore near the port of Newcastle. Photo/New South Wales Police

The accused was then escorted on a flight to Sydney and taken to Mascot Police Station where charges were laid against him.

The task force was set up by detectives from the Organized Crime Squad after the diver’s body and 54kg of cocaine were discovered near the port of Newcastle.

James Blee was charged with two offences.  Photo/LinkedIn
James Blee was charged with two offences. Photo/LinkedIn

Investigations into the death and drugs are ongoing, with NSW Police looking to identify a man and woman they believe could help them with their enquiries.

Organized Crime Squad detectives have released images of two people they believe can help with their investigation.  Photos/New South Wales Police
Organized Crime Squad detectives have released images of two people they believe can help with their investigation. Photos/New South Wales Police

The man was described as South American in appearance, around 1.78m tall and with an athletic build.

The woman is believed to be around 1.5 to 1.6m tall, has a slim build and a tanned complexion with blonde or gray hair.

Anyone with information that could help investigators is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or go online.