Around 3.2 tonnes of cocaine was recovered by New Zealand authorities on February 7, in what police described as one of the single biggest seizures of illegal drugs in the country.
Under Operation Hydros, New Zealand Police, working in partnership with New Zealand Customs Service and the New Zealand Defence Force intercepted the illicit drugs which were found floating in the Pacific Ocean.
“Eighty-one bales of the product have since made the six-day journey back to New Zealand aboard the Royal New Zealand Navy vessel HMNZS Manawanui, where they will now be destroyed,” police said.
Local media citing New Zealand Customs Service Acting Controller Bill Perry reported the shipment was worth more than half a billion dollars.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said the shipment was likely destined for Australia, due to its large size.
“There is no doubt this discovery lands a major financial blow right from the South American producers through to the distributors of this product," Police Commissioner Coster said.
This video includes a police image of the drugs floating at sea along with video of the shipment being moved to Auckland where it was examined. Credit: New Zealand Police via Storyful