Crime & Justice

New Zealand intercepts 3.2 tons of cocaine floating in Pacific Ocean

Sydney, Australia, Feb 8 (EFE).- More than three tons of cocaine has been intercepted floating in the Pacific Ocean in one of the New Zealand’s largest drug seizures, police reported Wednesday.

It is estimated that the 81 bales, suspected to be bound for Australia, has a street value of more than NZ$500 million ($316 million), police said.

The 3.2 tons was enough cocaine to service the Australian market for one year, or the New Zealand market for 30 years, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said.

“There is no doubt this discovery lands a major financial blow right from the South American producers through to the distributors of this product,” said Coster.

“This is one of the single biggest seizures of illegal drugs by authorities in this country. While this disrupts the syndicate’s operations, we remain vigilant given the lengths we know these groups will go to circumvent coming to law enforcement’s attention.”

Police National Organized Crime Unit head Greg Williams said the cocaine was found set up in a net with flotation devices in international waters, not an uncommon way for drugs to be transported, and that it would float there until it was picked up by someone, according to national broadcaster RNZ.

The drugs were taken on a six-day journey back to New Zealand aboard a Navy ship, and will now be destroyed.

No arrests have been made in the recovery of the drugs under Operation Hydros, which began in December 2022 made up of police, customs and the defense agencies. EFE


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