Superyacht operator charged with manslaughter after diver’s death close to cocaine transport

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A Queensland superyacht operator has been hit with multiple charges, including manslaughter death of a diver which was found in Newcastle Harbor surrounded by blocks of cocaine worth $20 million.

James “Jimmy” Blee, 62, was arrested by detectives and Australian Border Force officers at Grafton Prison yesterday morning.

In addition to manslaughter, he has been charged with two counts of smuggling and knowingly dealing in the proceeds of crime.

James "Jimmy" Blee has been arrested as he allegedly tried to flee Australia days after a diver was found dead and $20 million worth of cocaine was discovered in Newcastle.
James “Jimmy” Blee has been arrested as he allegedly tried to flee Australia days after a diver was found dead and $20 million worth of cocaine was discovered in Newcastle. (9 news)

He was charged with importing a large commercial quantity of a border controlled substance and large commercial drugs.

Those charges remain before the courts.

Diver found dead after transporting cocaine identified as Brazilian citizen Bruno Borges.
Diver found dead after transporting cocaine identified as Brazilian citizen Bruno Borges. (9 news)

Bruno Borges Martins, a 31-year-old professional diver from Brazil was found unconscious in the Hunter River on May 9 and could not be revived.

Borges is believed to have traveled to Australia after allegedly being hired by drug traffickers to retrieve 54kg of cocaine from a ship in the harbour.

Police allege that he had tried to retrieve the drugs in the middle of the night.

A dead diver found near more than 50kg of cocaine in a Newcastle shipping port has been identified as a foreign national.
A dead diver found near more than 50kg of cocaine in a Newcastle shipping port has been identified as a foreign national. (NSW Police)

The police will allege that Blee smuggled Martins and a colleague into the country illegally from Indonesia.

They will also allege he was involved in illegal activity that led to Martins’ death.

He has been remanded in custody and will appear in Sydney’s Downing Center Local Court on October 5.

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