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Body on washed up drugs yacht identified

Published: 8:48PM Tuesday November 27, 2012 Source: ONE News

A body found aboard a yacht that washed up on a deserted island in Tonga carrying more than 200 kilograms of cocaine has been identified as a Slovak national.

Tongan police say 35-year-old Milan Rindzak's badly decomposed body was found on the 13-metre yacht JeReVe earlier this month.

An international task force had been monitoring the boat after it left South America but lost contact until local divers found it stranded on an atoll.

Other passports, as well as currency from the United States, Dominican Republic and Poland were found on the vessel.

Tongan website Matangi Tonga reports that Police Commissioner Grant O'Fee said today US authorities had advised Rindzak's next of kin and they were awaiting instructions on the disposal of the remains in Vava'u.

Arrangements would be made once the next of kin contacted Tonga Police, he said.

Rindzak was identified due to a combination of documents found on the yacht, including his passport and information from the autopsy.

The badly decomposed body was found by local divers on November 7, after they spotted the yacht on a reef, in Luatafito Atoll, Vava'u.

The cocaine which is worth around $NZ147 million was recovered in an international police exercise and sent to Australia for destruction last week.

US authorities had alerted Australian police of drugs on board the yacht, which left Ecuador in mid-August with two Eastern European crew members aboard. Authorities tracked it for nearly two months, before losing contact.

NZ News

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