Updated: Police raid at Albion Park airport

UPDATE 9.10am Friday, July 11: Police have said this week's raid on the Swearingen Merlin 3 plane was part of an active investigation.

There have been reports that 35kg of drugs and some money was seized during the raid, however Police have not confirmed this.

Facebook posts, on aircraft company Snow Goose International page, have helped track the plane to its last stop at the Philippines, but it still unclear who flew the plane got to Australia.

UPDATE 9.10am Thursday, July 10: The plane raided at Albion Park airport yesterday had just completed a two-month journey from California, via Alaska, Hawaii and the Philippines.

In the weeks before that the plane had flown between small airports across the United States, from Punta Gorda in Florida, via Missouri and Texas, to California and up north to Washington state.

Aircraft records show the twin-engine turbo-prop Swearingen Merlin 3 is owned by the Oregonian Aero Club. The club is not present on lists of flying clubs in the state of Oregon, has no website, and no contact numbers that could be found on Wednesday.

Flight records indicate the plane left Seattle, Washington, on April 30, bound for Cold Bay, Alaska – a village of 108 people, one shop, one hotel and an airport.

The next day the eight-seater plane left for Honolulu, Hawaii, where it spent a day, before departing again, bound for the Marshall Islands, a series of atolls in the Pacific Ocean. N224HR was soon airborne again, bound for the US territory of Guam, 2000 kilometres east of the Philippines.

By the afternoon of May 5, the Swearingen was cooling its engines at Clark International Airport in Angeles City, near the Philippines capital Manila.

What happened next, and how it got into Australia, is not clear.

The next record of contact between N224HR and an aircraft control tower was when it left Coffs Harbour early on the afternoon of Friday, June 27. It was bound for Illawarra Regional Airport at Albion Park. It arrived about 3.40pm that day, staying there since. Investigations are continuing as to the origins of the aircraft.

Source Illawarra Mercury.

UPDATED: A raid has been carried out by NSW and federal police on an American registered plane that "mysteriously" arrived at Albion Park airport on Friday, June 27.

Police would give no further information as to what they were looking for but said investigations were continuing. 

Reports are that the plane turned up at the regional airport nearly two weeks ago and the plane sat outside a hangar for most of last week, apart from leaving for a few hours last Friday then returning.

1:37pm: OVERNIGHT a plane has been intercepted at Illawarra airport, Albion Park and raided.

The Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad (MEOCS) detectives are conducting a search on a plane that arrived at the airport during the night.

Local area command were called to guard the plane and preserve the evidence until the MEOCS unit arrived to the scene.

It is understood there may have been arrests, but this is yet to be confirmed.

More to come.

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