It is more than New Zealand would use in 30 years.
The bundle was caught by a naval boat hundreds of kilometers northwest of New Zealand.
WELLINGTON – After snaring a giant bundle of drugs floating in the Pacific Ocean, police claimed Wednesday they had confiscated enough cocaine to supply New Zealand for 30 years.
New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster told reporters that the haul weighed 3.2 tonnes and had a street value of roughly $316 million.
“This is the largest find of illicit drugs by New Zealand’s agencies by some margin,” he said.
Officials think the pills were dropped in the Pacific Ocean at a “floating transit point,” where they would have been picked up and transported to Australia.
According to a police photo, the large haul was confined by netting and wrapped with yellow floats. Some of the bales bore a Batman symbol, and the cocaine sachets inside bore what seemed to be a four-leaf clover pattern.
“We believe it was destined for Australia, where it would have been enough to service the market for one year,” Coster said.
“It is more than New Zealand would use in 30 years.”
The bundle was caught by a naval boat hundreds of kilometers northwest of New Zealand, thanks in part to intelligence from the “Five Eyes” partnership.
The US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand are members of the decades-old intelligence-sharing network.
The arrest, according to Coster, was a “huge result” for police in both New Zealand and Australia.
“There is no doubt this discovery lands a major financial blow right from the South American producers through to the distributors of this product,” he added.
Officials said it was too early to say where the drugs came from.
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