(MENAFN) According to New Zealand authorities, more than 3.5 tons of cocaine were discovered drifting in the Pacific Ocean last week. The quantity is the biggest narcotics seizure in country history.
Based on the statement from the police, the cocaine was discovered in a joint operation involving the New Zealand Police, Customs Service, and a defense force called Operation Hydros that was started in December to track "suspicious vessels’ movements." The cocaine was packaged in 81 plastic-wrapped bales covered with nets equipped with flotation devices. The cargo was picked up and transported back to Auckland, where it would be destroyed, by the Royal Navy ship HMNZS Manawanui.
The cocaine, which had a wholesale value of roughly 500 million New Zealand dollars (USD316 million), could have supplied the Australian market for a whole year and the New Zealand market for 30 years, according to Police Commissioner Andrew Coster.
In line with Greg Williams, chief of the police force's organized crime unit, the technique of packing and delivery was not unusual for the area, but the quantity of cocaine was roughly four times larger than the haul that had previously set the record.
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