About half a billion dollars worth of cocaine — enough to service the New Zealand market for 30 years — was found floating in the Pacific Ocean
- Half a billion dollars worth of cocaine was discovered floating around the Pacific Ocean.
- A total of 81 bales of cocaine, weighing 3.2 tonnes, were intercepted by the New Zealand Police.
Roughly half a billion dollars worth of cocaine was discovered floating around in the Pacific Ocean — enough to service the New Zealand market for 30 years — according to a statement by the country's police on Wednesday.
About 81 bales, or 3.2 tonnes of cocaine, are making their way back to New Zealand on the royal navy vessel HMNZS Manawanui, where they will now be destroyed, the statement added. No arrests have been made so far.
"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," Andrew Coster, the commissioner of the New Zealand police, said in a media conference on Wednesday, per Australian news outlet Nine News.
"Given the size of the cocaine, it will have likely been destined for the Australian market," he added.
The New Zealand Police media team shared official photos of the cocaine interception with Insider. These show that some of the packages have identifiable stickers like a four-leaf clover, and one that stood out had a Batman logo.
It is unclear why the parcels were labeled with these logos.
The cocaine interception — known as "Operation Hydros" — was initiated in December 2022 as a joint operation between New Zealand police, customs, and the defense force, per the official statement.
In March 2022, New Zealand police and customs made one of the country's largest drug busts when they intercepted 613 kilograms of methamphetamine arriving at Auckland Airport.
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