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New Zealand police reveal massive cocaine haul

More than three tonnes of cocaine, which New Zealand authorities believe was bound for Australia, has been picked up in the Pacific Ocean.

New Zealand Supermarket Terror Attack The 3.2-tonne cocaine haul is the largest in NZ history, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster says.
February 8, 2023
By Ben McKay
8 February 2023

New Zealand’s defence force has intercepted a year’s worth of Australia-bound cocaine bobbing about in the Pacific Ocean.

A cross-agency operation involving New Zealand police, customs and defence officials produced the haul, recovering 81 bales of the illicit drug totalling 3.2 tonnes.

The cocaine has been brought back to Auckland after a six-day journey from the open seas on board the HMNZS Manawanui, and will be destroyed.

Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said it was “one of the single biggest seizures of illegal drugs by authorities in this country” – worth an estimated $NZ500 million ($A453 million).

“This is the largest find of illicit drugs by New Zealand agencies by some margin (and) we believe this was destined for the Australian market,” he said.

“We believe there was enough cocaine to service the Australian market for about one year and this would be more than New Zealand would use in 30 years.”

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