new zealand official announced this week They said they had completed the seizure of a large quantity of cocaine at sea, calling it a “huge economic blow” for drug producers and traffickers.
authorities there said on wednesday The seizure was part of ‘Operation Hydroth’, and New Zealand Police were working in partnership with both New Zealand Customs and the New Zealand Defense Force.
The statement said that “no arrests have been made at this stage” but that “an investigation into the shipment will continue, including communication with international partners.”
Members of these units intercepted “a float of 3.2 tons of cocaine” in the Pacific Ocean. “The magnitude of the seizure is estimated to have taken more than $500 million worth of cocaine out of circulation,” New Zealand Customs Commissioner Bill Perry said.
(The news agency United Press International explained The seizure was described as “a haul of 3.5 tons of cocaine with a street value of $317 million in a massive anti-drug operation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.”
“Customs is pleased to have helped prevent such large amounts of cocaine from harming communities here in New Zealand, Australia and other parts of the wider Pacific region,” Perry said. “This is a great example of how far organized crime can go in global drug trafficking operations, and shows that it is not exempt from major organized crime drug trafficking efforts in this part of the world. ”
NZ Police Commissioner Andrew Koster called it “one of the largest seizures of illegal drugs by authorities in this country”.
“There is no doubt that this discovery will have a major economic impact, from producers in South America to distributors of this product,” Koster said.
“While this disrupts the syndicate’s activities, we remain vigilant given what we know these groups do to avoid attracting the attention of law enforcement,” Koster said. increase.”
“The 81 bales of product will then be returned to New Zealand aboard the New Zealand Navy vessel HMNZS Manawanui over the next six days, where they will be destroyed,” officials said in a statement Wednesday.
“Given the high volume of shipments, it is likely that it will be for the Australian market,” according to the announcement.
“Operation Hildos was launched in December 2022 as part of our ongoing close collaboration with international partner agencies to identify and monitor suspicious vessel movements,” Koster said.
“We are extremely proud of what our State Organized Crime Group has achieved in collaboration with other New Zealand Agencies, including New Zealand Customs and the New Zealand Defense Force. I can’t,” Coster said.
“We know that the distribution of illegal drugs not only has a tremendous impact on the health and economy of communities, especially those who use drugs and their families, but it also causes enormous damage to society,” Koster said. Added.
“This operation continues the successful work New Zealand authorities are accomplishing together to reduce the impact of transnational crime around the world,” Koster said in a statement. Stated.
Rear Admiral Jim Gilmore, commander of the New Zealand Defense Force Joint Forces, said his unit “had the right people and the right capabilities to provide the necessary support and it was great to work with New Zealand Police and New Zealand Customs. ‘ said.
“We are extremely pleased with the outcome, delighted to be part of this successful operation and proud to do our part to protect New Zealand,” said Gilmore. said.