Published: Fri, August 09, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Cocaine worth €1.7 million washes up on New Zealand beach

Cocaine worth €1.7 million washes up on New Zealand beach

More than £1.5m worth of cocaine has been washing up on the shore of a beach in New Zealand.

Yesterday police said they found 20 packages containing cocaine on Bethells Beach on Wednesday.

Police say the drugs have a street value of more than NZ$3m.

He said more packages could show up on the beach and anyone who finds anything suspicious should contact police as soon as possible.

The package contents tested positive for cocaine and the police are still investigating where these drugs came from.

'Police with the assistance of NZ Customs have conducted a thorough search of the beach and surrounding areas in an effort to locate any further packages, ' Detective Inspector Colin Parmenter said on Thursday.

One woman, who did not want to be named told Stuff her dogs ran up to the packages.

Last week, police carried out a search at an apartment complex in central Auckland as part of a major drug operation called Operation Essex.

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They believe the drugs were destined for Australia.

The retired police officer said that this portion of cocaine might be a part of a larger shipment, except that it managed to get lost and wash up on a beach in New Zealand.

Because of Bethells Beach location on the west coast of New Zealand, Santos also thought there was a "strong possibility" the drugs had been trafficked across the Tasman from Australia - a distance of just 2,000km that required much smaller boats and less logistical planning.

Cocaine is New Zealand's most expensive illicit drug, sold for about $250,000 per kilogram.

New Zealand was being targeted by overseas criminal networks looking to exploit families and communities, he said.

It was not the first time a significant amount of drugs had been found on a Kiwi beach.

Police believe the 19 packets of cocaine would have a street value of approximately NZ$3 million.

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