Olympian arrested over $200m Aussie drug plot

Nathan Baggaley of Australia competes during the men's K-1 class 1,000 metre final during the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
Nathan Baggaley of Australia competes during the men's K-1 class 1,000 metre final during the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games. Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

AN Olympic medallist has been arrested over an alleged bungled bid to import almost 600kg of cocaine into Australia.

Nathan Baggaley faced court over an alleged $200 million drug plot that ended with the cocaine tossed overboard during a sea chase.

The 43-year-old faced an extradition hearing in Byron Bay on Thursday accused of aiding or abetting the alleged 2018 importation.

Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy ordered he be extradited to Queensland to face court on Friday.

Nathan Baggaley pictured during the Kellogs Nutri Grain Ironman Championships in 2003. Picture: Jonathan Wood/Getty Images

His brother Dru 36, and co-accused Anthony Trevor Draper, 54, are already before the Queensland courts over the same alleged plot.

Dru was arrested when his inflatable boat was allegedly detected by air surveillance some 70 kilometres off Byron Bay in August 2018.

While being chased, he and Draper allegedly threw overboard about $210 million worth of cocaine they had picked up from a larger vessel.

On Thursday, police searched Nathan Baggaley’s home and business seizing cash, white powder believed to be an illicit substance and encrypted mobile phones, the Australian Border Force says.

It will be alleged the kayaker played a key role in the bungled alleged plot, arranging the importation and paying for the boat used to collect the cocaine with money from the criminal syndicate, ABF says.

He was charged with aiding or abetting the importation of a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

Footage of his arrest released by authorities shows the Olympian wearing shorts and thongs, and using crutches as he is taken into custody.

The trio faces potential life sentences if convicted of possessing a commercial quantity of drugs and drug importation.