New Zealand police on Wednesday said they found more than 3 tons of cocaine floating in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean after it was dropped there by an international drug-smuggling syndicate.
While they are yet to make any arrests, police said they had dealt a financial blow to everyone from the South American producers of the drugs through to the distributors in what was the nation’s largest-ever drug seizure.
New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said the cocaine had been dropped at a floating transit point in 81 bales before it was intercepted by a navy ship, which was deployed to the area last week.
The ship then made the six-day trip back to New Zealand, where the drugs were being documented and destroyed.
The country’s police chief added that the wholesale value of the 3.2 tonnes (3.5 tons) of cocaine was about 500 million New Zealand dollars ($316 million) and it was likely destined for Australia.
Writing by Tersoo Nicholas