JammedUp News


New Zealand Police make largest cocaine seizure hidden inside statue of horse shipped from Mexico

July 4, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
New Zealand Police make largest cocaine seizure hidden inside statue of horse shipped from Mexico

Are you in a legal jam? Find a Lawyer, Bail Bondsman or Private Investigator on JammedUp.

Authorities in New Zealand seized a shipment of cocaine from Mexico with a value estimated at 10 million dollars, officials announced on Sunday.

According to the Guardian UK, New Zealand Police officials said it is the largest recorded seizure of cocaine ever made in the country’s history.

Approximately 35 kilos of the drug was concealed inside of a statue of a horse head embedded in diamonds that arrived on an air-freight from Mexico.

The seizure stems from a six-week investigation involving Mexican and U.S. law enforcement agencies, resulting in the arrests of three men, including two Mexican nationals and one American, who were nabbed at the Auckland International Airport as they tried to board a flight to Hawaii.

Authorities transported the suspects to the Manukau District Court and where they were charged with drug trafficking, an offense which could see them face life-in-prison.

Law enforcement officials said police made additional arrests at a house in Auckland but released no further details.

It’s rare that large quantities of cocaine make it to the country because of its long distance and stringent border controls, which is the reason the street price of the drug in New Zealand is so high, and quality is often poor.

Officials said the discovery further illustrates the logistical reach of Mexican transnational drug trafficking organizations.

“This is obviously a significant amount of cocaine and in the past, we’ve discovered minuscule quantities of this drug,” said Senior Sergeant Colin Parmenter, lead agent charge of the organized crime unit in Auckland.

“What this find tells us though is that there is obviously a demand for it. While it’s possible that this statue may have been sent on to another country,” Parmenter said.

“There’s every possibility that the cocaine was destined for the New Zealand market, and we would be naive to think otherwise,” he added.

The head of the Organized Crime Unit, Virginia Le Bas, told AFP that investigators were still trying to establish what was the final destination of the drug.

“Cocaine is the favored drug used by New Zealand “socialites” and the importation was the work of a sophisticated overseas operation by an organized criminal organization,” Le Bas said.

Many people on Twitter questioned whether it was a prudent idea to conceal a significant amount of cocaine inside the statue of a horse head.

Get the latest news from the world of crime