Police charge man with manslaughter, people smuggling after death of Brazilian diver

Organised Crime Squad detectives have laid additional charges as part of investigations into the death of a diver and alleged importation of more than $20 million of cocaine in the state’s Hunter earlier this year.

About 9.30am on Monday 9 May 2022, emergency services were called to the Port of Newcastle after a male diver was located unresponsive in the water with 54kg of cocaine nearby.

Despite the efforts of witnesses and paramedics, the man could not be revived.

He has since been formally identified as 31-year-old Brazilian national Bruno Borges Martins.

Officers from Newcastle Police District and Marine Area Command established a crime scene, before the matter was referred to detectives from the State Crime Command’s Organised Crime Squad, who established Strike Force Groove to further investigate the incident.

They have been assisted by officers from the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Border Force (ABF), Northern Territory Police (NTPOL) and Queensland Police Service (QPS) since that time.

As part of ongoing inquiries, a 62-year-old man was charged earlier this year over his alleged role in the incident. He remains before the courts.

Following extensive further inquiries, strike force detectives and ABF officers attended a correctional facility at Grafton and arrested the 62-year-old man about 11am yesterday (Tuesday 27 September 2022).

He’s since been charged with manslaughter, two counts of people smuggling, and knowingly deal with proceeds of crime.

Police will allege the man engaged in unlawful activity which resulted in the death of Mr Martins.

It is further alleged the man illegally smuggled Mr Martins and an associate into Australia from Indonesia.

The man was remanded in custody and is next due to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday 5 October 2022.

Investigations under Strike Force Groove continue.

Anyone with information about serious organised crime should contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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