Organised Crime Squad detectives have launched an investigation after the body of a diver and more than 50 kilograms of cocaine were discovered in the Hunter River on May 9.

An investigation is underway by Organised Crime Squad detectives, who will be assisted by officers attached to the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Photo source: NSW Police

Emergency services were called to Heron Road, Kooragang, at approximately 9.30 am, where they found an unconscious diver on the river bank.

Several packages, which police have confirmed contained more than 50kg of cocaine, were located in the immediate vicinity.

The cocaine has an estimated potential street value of $20 million.

Police said in a statement on May 10 that despite CPR efforts by members of the public and NSW Ambulance paramedics, the man died at the scene.

He is yet to be formally identified.

Organised Crime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Rob Critchlow, told the ABC that Port of Newcastle officials first noticed the body floating in the water.

“It was clear that he was wearing dive equipment and some pretty specialised equipment,” he said.

The equipment included a rebreather, which allows divers to stay underwater without giving off bubbles for extended periods of time.

“We’re not 100 per cent certain in saying this person was involved, but it certainly is something we’re looking at,” he said.

The cocaine has an estimated potential street value of $20 million. Photo source: NSW Police.

A crime scene was established by Newcastle City Police District officers and continues to be examined by specialist forensic police.

A search of the surrounding waters by the Marine Area Command and Police Divers will continue today, assisted by officers from the Australian Border Force (ABF).

An investigation is underway by Organised Crime Squad detectives, who will be assisted by officers attached to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Police are urging locals or anyone with information to come forward.

Maia O’Connor

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