Police in New Zealand found three tons of cocaine floating in the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday after it was dumped there allegedly by an international drug smuggling syndicate.
The Associated Press reported the incident quoting New Zealand Police Commissioner Andrew Coster who said that a navy ship, which had been sent to the area last week, was able to intercept the shipment of cocaine after it had been dropped off at a floating transit point in 81 bales.
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“We believe there was enough cocaine to service the Australian market for about one year, and this would be more than New Zealand would use in 30 years,” he said, adding that investigation into the case is on with international agencies.
The police are yet to make any arrests related to the shipment, but its huge size indicates that it was a big financial blow for the syndicate.
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Coster further said that catching the shipment was part of Operation Hydros, a special anti-drug initiative launched in December in cooperation with international partner agencies to identify and track the movements of suspect vessels.
“I am incredibly proud of what our National Organised Crime Group has achieved in working with other New Zealand agencies, including New Zealand Customs Service and the New Zealand Defence Force. The significance of this recovery and its impact cannot be underestimated,” he added.
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“We know the distribution of any illicit drug causes a great amount of social harm as well as negative health and financial implications for communities, especially drug users and their families.”