Red flags were raised when a master mariner returned to New Zealand after a long prison lag for a record cocaine bust in Australia. A Customs investigation planted a tracking device in his yacht and led to an even bigger haul. Jared Savage traces the incredible criminal adventures of Hamish Edmond Thompson.

Key Points:

    • Hamish Edmond Thompson found guilty of Australia's biggest cocaine conspiracy after 1.4 tonnes were found in his yacht.
    • The 65-year-old faces life imprisonment at his sentencing in Sydney in August.
    • The court hearing comes nearly 20 years after the Kiwi yachtie was caught with 500kg of cocaine in nearly identical circumstances.

A lone boat sets sail from New Zealand and heads for the horizon.

It could be any yachtie heading to the South Pacific Ocean, perhaps the week-long trip to Fiji, to cruise around the islands in the sticky summer months.

This is a business

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Born into privilege

A record breaking run

Can't teach old sea dog new tricks

Hamish Edmond Thompson