Two men were thwarted in Australia last week by a large seal when they tried to flee the police, reports the British newspaper The Guardian on Thursday. According to the local police they had a lot of drugs with them worth more than 1 billion Australian dollars (about 620,000 euros).

The 51-year-old Frenchman and 34-year-old Briton were arrested on a small island off the coast of the Australian state of Western Australia, where they tried to hide some bags of drugs between the seaweed.

The two started running toward their rubber boat when the police tried to stop them. On the way, however, they came across a gigantic sleeping seal.

Criminals had to make a difficult choice

"The seal woke up, jerked up, showed its giant chest and roared to the two," says eyewitness Damien Healy, vice commander at the local rescue brigade.

"They were faced with the choice of being arrested or facing the seal. So in the end they were arrested," Healy said in an interview with a local television program.

Visser saw men diving away

The police had previously found an empty yacht at another island 7 kilometers away. After that, agents went looking for the missing passengers.

The police eventually found the two on Burton Island. A local fisherman had seen someone dive into the bushes when an airplane flew over. At that time, the men had a party of more than 1 billion Australian dollars in drugs.

New arrests

On Thursday, three new suspects were arrested on the mainland in the state of Western Australia. According to the police, they would receive the drugs. It is a 45-year-old American, 35-year-old British and 50-year-old Australian.

Chris Dawson, state police chief, had another tip for the two suspects who were arrested on the island: "Don't put on a bright pink shirt if you want to hide in the bushes."