New Zealand Officials Seize Half a Billion Dollars Worth of Cocaine
Officials in New Zealand announced this week that they have completed a massive seizure of cocaine at sea, calling it a “major financial blow” to producers and traffickers of the drug. Authorities there said on Wednesday that the seizure was a part of “Operation Hyrdros,” with New Zealand Police working in partnership with both New Zealand Customs Service and the New Zealand Defence Force. The announcement said that “no arrests have been made at this stage,” but that “enquiries will continue into the shipment including liaison with our international partners.” Members of those units intercepted “3.2 tonnes of cocaine afloat” in the Pacific Ocean. NZ Customs Service Acting Comptroller Bill Perry said that the “sheer scale of this seizure is estimated to have taken more than half a billion dollars’ worth of cocaine out of circulation.” (The news agency United Press International described the seizure as a “3.5 ton haul of cocaine with a street value of $317 million in a major anti-drugs operation carried out in the middle of the Pacific.”) Courtesy of New Zealand Police “Customs is pleased to have helped prevent such a large amount of cocaine causing harm in communities here in New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere in the wider Pacific region,” Perry said. “It is a huge illustration of what lengths organised crime will go to with their global drug trafficking operations and shows that we are not exempt from major organised criminal drug smuggling efforts in this part of the world.” NZ Police Commissioner Andrew Coster called it “one of the single biggest seizures of illegal drugs by authorities in this country.” “There is no doubt this discovery lands a major financial blow right from the South American producers through to the distributors of this product,” Coster said. Coster added, “While this disrupts the…
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