World / Crime & Legal

High tide: Millions of dollars worth of cocaine washes up on New Zealand beach

AFP-JIJI

Cocaine worth millions of dollars has washed up on a New Zealand beach, with police urging the public Thursday to hand in any more packages that may turn up.

Police were called to Bethells Beach in West Auckland on Wednesday evening when packages of the drug were found along the shoreline.

“Police attended and located approximately 19 packages, which testing has confirmed contained cocaine,” detective inspector Colin Parmenter said.

He estimated the street value at 3 million New Zealand dollars ($2 million).

Local media reported said the packages were contained in netting and the presence of shells indicated they had been at sea for some time.

“There is a small possibility that further packages may turn up on the beach and we ask any members of the public to contact us immediately if they do,” Parmenter said.

“And we will be sending regular patrols in the coming days to continue to check for further washed up items.”

It is not the first time a large amount of drugs has been found on a New Zealand beach.

In 2016, 500 kilograms of methamphetamine, with a street value of nearly NZ$500 million, was found on a beach in the far north of the country.

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