Sunday, June 23, 2024

New Zealand Authorities Seize 3.2 Tonnes of Cocaine Found Drifting in the Pacific Ocean – It’s Enough to Service NZ for 30 Years | VIDEO

*A joint effort by police, customs, and the NZ Defence Force this week resulted in the seizing of 3.2 tonnes of cocaine that was found floating adrift in the Pacific Ocean.

Dubbed “Operation Hydros,” the joint effort cast a dragnet and the catch was 81 bales of cocaine — enough to service New Zealand for 30 years!

The big catch was loaded on the Royal New Zealand Navy vessel HMNZS Manawanui and brought back to New Zealand, where it has since been destroyed.

According to the authorities, the drugs have a street value of “half a billion dollars.”

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Some of the bales had stickers to identify them, such as the Batman logo and a four-leaf clover.

“There is no doubt this discovery lands a major financial blow right from the South American producers through to the distributors of this product,” said Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, who believes the large size of the shipment means it was likely headed for the Australian market.

“This is the single biggest seizure of illegal drugs by authorities in this country by some margin,” he continued. “While this disrupts the syndicate’s operations, we remain vigilant given the lengths we know these groups will go to circumvent coming to law enforcement’s attention.”

He also later spoke at a media conference, saying, “We believe there was enough cocaine to service the Australian market for about one year, and was enough cocaine to service the New Zealand market for 30 years.”

No arrests have been made at this stage so far, but the authorities say inquiries will continue into the shipment. They have not explained how they pinpointed the location they discovered the floating shipment of drugs.

Bill Perry, New Zealand Customs Service acting comptroller, estimated the value of the seized drug. He said the sheer scale of this seizure is estimated to have taken more than half a billion dollars worth of cocaine out of circulation.

“It is a huge illustration of what lengths organized crime will go to with their global drug trafficking operations and shows that we are not exempt from major organized criminal drug smuggling efforts in this part of the world,” he added.

New Zealand Defence Force Joint Forces Commander Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour also chipped in, saying the operation had the right people and the right capabilities to provide the support required and it was great to work alongside the New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Customs Service.

“We were very pleased with the result and are happy to be a part of this successful operation and are proud to play our part in protecting New Zealand,” he added.

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