Cops make biggest cocaine bust ever, in New Zealand
$10 million worth of cocaine discovered inside blinged out horse head sculpture
Police arrest two mexican men, 44 and 29, 56 year-old US national.
Fourth man with spanish accent declared wanted
All charged with importing a Class A drug, and Possession for supply of a class A drug
Facing life imprisonment
Police want to identify fourth man was captured on CCTV as he was leaving a hotel in Auckland, Australia
The man was akso captured by security cameras outside a sports store
Three men, a 44 year-old Mexican national and a 56 year-old US national have been charged, Friday, with attempting to import the largest quantity of cocaine, ever into New Zealand. The drug was hidden in a diamante encrusted horse head sculpture, which the suspected imported inton the country. When police and customs officials inspected the artwork, they discovered 35 bricks of high-grade cocaine inside the sculpture.
Another Mexican male, 29, was arrested othe next day in an apartment block in Christchurch. A fourth man, with a spanish accent, was still been sought by the autorities in connection with the crime.
They wera all charged with importing a Class A drug, namely cocaine and Possession for supply of a class A drug, namely cocaine.
35 bricks of high grade coke was found inside a diamante encrusted piece of sculpture: Estimated value $10 million
Officers from Christchurch Police in New Zealand were also carrying search warrants at two residential address where two men and a woman were speaking with Police.
Importing the class A drug cocaine is punishable by life imprisonment.
This was New Zealand’s biggest ever cocaine bust after finding $10 million worth of the drug stashed inside a diamante-encrusted sculpture of a horse’s head. Police are still looking for a fourth man with a Spanish-sounding accent who was caught on CCTV in a hotel in Auckland on Friday.
The exquisitely decorated piece of art was merely a mule for transporting high-grade cocaine.
Police officers and customs officials seized the artwork, which weighed 880 pounds, shortly after it was freighted into the country from Mexico in early May. They opened it up and were stunned to discover 35 bricks of high-grade cocaine inside.
“This is obviously an extremely large amount of cocaine, and in the past we’ve only found very small amounts of this drug,” Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Parmenter, from the Organised Crime Auckland squad, said in a statement on Saturday.
Customs officials seized the 880 lbs artwork
In a statement, Customs Investigations Manager Maurice O’Brien, attributed the successful interception of the shipment by the anti-drug unit to a system of ‘intelligence-led and risk-based approach at the border’, and the seizure is the result of good profiling systems and inspection capabilities. The joint operation with NZ Police and international engagement with other law enforcement agencies proved its worth in advancing the investigation.
Three men weren’t horsing around when they tried to smuggle $10 million worth of cocaine into New Zealand.
Two Mexican nationals and one US national were arrested over the weekend as part of the country’s largest cocaine seizure ever.
In May, police and customs agents seized 35 bricks of high-grade cocaine hidden inside a 880-pound diamante horse head sculpture that had been trafficked in from Mexico, New Zealand police reported.
A 44-year old man and 56-year-old were arrested at Auckland International Airport trying to fly to Hawaii on Friday night.
About $10 million worth of cocaine was found inside a diamante-encrusted horse sculpture shipped from Mexico to New Zealand.
About $10 million worth of cocaine was found inside a diamante-encrusted horse sculpture shipped from Mexico to New Zealand. (New Zealand Police)
The third man, 29, was arrested on Saturday in an apartment block in Christchurch.
All three men were charged with importing a Class A drug and possession for supply.
Those charges could result in up to a life imprisonment if convicted.
Police are still looking for a fourth man with a Spanish-sounding accent who was caught on CCTV in a hotel in Auckland on Friday.
Police discovered 35 bricks of high-grade cocaine inside the sculpture.
Police discovered 35 bricks of high-grade cocaine inside the sculpture. (New Zealand Police)
“Prior to this, the average amount of cocaine seized by police each year was around 250 grams (about half a pound),” Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Parmenter said.
“What this find tells us though is that there is obviously a demand for it.”
Police said that they “would be naive” to think the cocaine wasn’t intended to stay in New Zealand and be sold in the country.
Two Mexican men and one American man have been arrested and police are looking for a fourth man, pictured above.
Two Mexican men and one American man have been arrested and police are looking for a fourth man, pictured above. (New Zealand Police)