Following its delivery by an international drug-smuggling organization, more than 3 tons of cocaine were discovered floating in a remote area of the Pacific Ocean, according to New Zealand police on Wednesday.
Police claimed that even though they had not yet made any arrests, their largest-ever drug seizure in the country had financially impacted everyone from the South American drug producers to the wholesalers.
The cocaine, according to New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, was deposited at a floating transit point in 81 bales before being seized by a navy ship that had been sent to the area last week. After returning to New Zealand after a six-day voyage, the narcotics were inventoried and burned there.
According to Coster, the 3.5 tons of cocaine had a wholesale worth of roughly 500 million New Zealand dollars ($316 million) and was most certainly headed for Australia.
According to Coster, there was more cocaine available to supply the Australian market for about a year than New Zealand would use in a 30-year period.
He claimed that after establishing Operation Hydros in December in cooperation with international partner agencies to identify and track the movements of suspect vessels, police, customs, and the military discovered the drugs.
Coster stated that they were working with other foreign agencies to continue the investigation.
According to Bill Perry, the New Zealand Customs Service’s acting comptroller, the haul demonstrated the lengths organized syndicates would go to smuggle drugs into the South Pacific.
Therefore, as agencies, we need to work together, Perry said. “We see that this is just an indicator that the transnational organized criminal groups are testing the market in different ways.”