New Zealand’s reputation is that of a country that isn’t quite Australia, but instead the home of Lord of the Rings and somewhere that drugs don’t flow freely. The average amount of cocaine seized each year by New Zealand police is 250 grams, nowhere near 35 kilos. Yet 35 kilos were found in New Zealand this past week and, according to Yahoo, police have made a third arrest in what is being billed as New Zealand’s biggest cocaine bust in history.
— Stuff.co.nz News (@NZStuff) July 3, 2016
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) July 2, 2016
RadioNZ reports that police officials believe that a significant organized crime group is behind this, with over $14 million in cocaine seized during the bust. Two men were arrested in Auckland last night attempting to board a flight to Hawaii, a 44-year-old man from Mexico and a 56-year-old man from the United States. Today, a third man from Mexico was arrested. The cocaine was discovered in a diamante-encrusted sculpture of a horse’s head in May, with 35kg of cocaine split into 35 blocks stored in a hidden compartment.
New Zealand’s record cocaine bust was hidden inside this sparkly beast pic.twitter.com/RafTPVL5oc
— Marika Hill (@MarikaJHill) July 2, 2016
If 35kg sounds like a lot of cocaine, it’s for a good reason; it is. 35kg is approximately 77 lbs. Of course, this is nowhere near the 17,500 pounds of cocaine seized by Columbian officials earlier this year.