Massive WA drug haul ‘kingpin’ found in UK

By AAP Newswire

Moves are underway to extradite a UK man who police claim is the kingpin of a massive one-tonne drug haul found off the WA coast.

WA Police have already charged five men over the $1 billion seizure of methamphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy from Burton Island, which is part of the Abrolhos archipelago, in September.

The shipment's accused couriers, Frenchman Antoine Dicenta and British man Graham Kurt Palmer, were nabbed after being spotted by a fisherman.

Their yacht had run aground about seven kilometres away near Stick Island and they allegedly fled in a dinghy.

The following week, US national Jason Dean Lassiter, Briton Scott Felix Jones and Angus Bruce Jackson from NSW were charged, accused of being "the shore party" who planned to distribute the drugs.

WA Police now say they have tracked down the organiser to the UK island of Jersey and he's being held in custody by local authorities.

"We've already sent a few Western Australian police officers over to Jersey and the UK ... that paperwork is going through now so we can extradite them," acting commissioner Col Blanch told ABC radio on Thursday.

The arrests of the two alleged couriers came after they tried to make a getaway but were thwarted by a bellowing seal.

"They woke it up and it jumped up with its big chest out and bellowed at them," Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue Service vice commander Damien Healy said.

"The guys basically had the choice of going through the seal or getting arrested and they ended up choosing getting arrested."

Mr Blanch said more arrests were expected.

"It's about finding everyone involved in that network."

Each of the five charged men are due to face Perth Magistrates Court on Friday.

Jackson has pleaded not guilty to all six of his charges, while the others are yet to enter pleas.