More than 3 tons of cocaine floating in the ocean have been seized by authorities in New Zealand in one of the country’s single biggest drugs busts, reports CNN.
Largest cocaine haul
Some 81 bales of cocaine weighing 3.2 metric tons (3.5 short tons) were intercepted in the Pacific Ocean as part of Operation Hydros – a joint initiative between New Zealand’s police, customs and defense force.
Those behind the policing operation valued the haul at more than half a billion New Zealand dollars (about $318 million).
Few details have been made public about how or when the discovery was made, but police on Wednesday published a news release about the haul, including several images. Among them is a shot of the mass of packages, buoyed by numerous floatation devices.
International crime syndicate responsible?
A Batman logo is plastered across one of the packages shown, while others are seen labeled with a black four-leaf clover. An international crime syndicate is believed to be responsible for the cache, which the police think was headed for Australia.
“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,” police commissioner Andrew Coster said, reports CNN affiliate 9News.
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