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Update on cocaine found at Bethells Beach

Detective Inspector Colin Parmenter, Waitemata Police:

Packages of cocaine washed up on Bethells Beach in recent days are likely to have been some of hundreds of kilograms of the drug destined for Australia last year.

Police were called to the beach on Wednesday evening, where they located 20 packages of cocaine, with an approximate street value of more than $3 million.

In August 2018, a rigid inflatable boat was seen by Australian Border Force and Defence patrols off the northern New South Wales coast heading towards the mainland, and authorities were sent to intercept it.

The two occupants of the inflatable were seen offloading the cocaine into the sea, and they were arrested.

Of the cocaine that was offloaded, the majority has been recovered.

Some was located along parts of the eastern coastline of Australia, from northern Queensland down to New South Wales.

The product found on Bethells Beach appears to have been part of this same shipment and has drifted here over the last year, as the markings and packaging of the drugs is consistent with that seized in Australia.

The Police Eagle helicopter concluded a wider search of the area yesterday, and found nothing of interest.

Police will have regular patrols to check for any further washed-up items.

There remains a small possibility of further packages turning up, and we would reiterate the importance of contacting Police if you discover any suspicious or concerning items.


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