New Zealand police have picked up some very expensive flotsam at a popular Auckland beach.
The uniformed beachcombers on Wednesday collected 19 parcels filled with cocaine worth about $NZ3 million ($2.9 million) that washed up on Bethells Beach, 30 kilometres west of Auckland’s city centre, police said on Thursday.
“Police with the assistance of NZ Customs have conducted a thorough search of the beach and surrounding areas in an effort to locate any further packages,” Detective Inspector Colin Parmenter said.
The drugs were stuffed into 19 boxes the size of VHS video cassettes.
“There is a small possibility that further packages may turn up on the beach and we ask any members of the public to contact us immediately if they do,” Detective Inspector Parmenter added.
A global drug survey released earlier this year showed that New Zealand was the most expensive country to buy cocaine.
The survey found New Zealanders were paying on average $NZ375 ($357) for a gram of cocaine – almost four times the amount the drug is sold for in the United States.
Wednesday’s find was not the first time such a large amount of drugs had been found on a New Zealand beach. In 2016, 500 kilograms of methamphetamine was found on Ninety Mile Beach in the far north of NZ, in what was the country’s largest ever meth bust.
Social media, naturally, had a ball with the find.
“What a bloody disgrace,” wrote one man. “I’m gonna leave my job and go protect our waters so no one has to see this nonsense. I’ll take one for the team.”
While NZ’s crippling petrol prices were on the mind of another: “Can I have some of this? Then I can run to work instead of driving and save some gas.”
Even a former MP, Tau Henare chimed in.