Officers seize 35kg worth NZ$14m of the class A drug after becoming suspiciuous of extravagant sequinned fake horses head that came from Mexico
A record-breaking haul of cocaine has been seized by New Zealand police, hidden inside a gigantic diamante-encrusted sculpture of a horses head.
The less-than-inconspicuous sculpture decorated with brown, black and gold diamante sequins and weighing 400kg was air-freighted from Mexico in May and contained 35 bricks of cocaine, each weighing a kilogram, concealed inside the base of the horses neck.
The haul has an estimated street value of NZ$14m (7.5m) and is by far the largest seizure of the drug ever intercepted in the country.
Cocaine rarely makes it into the country in significant quantities due to strict border controls and the sizeable distance from the major foreign drug markets.
The street price of cocaine in New Zealand is high and quality often low.
This is obviously an extremely large amount of cocaine and in the past weve only found very small amounts of this drug, said Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Parmenter, officer in charge of the organised crime unit in Auckland.
What this find tells us though is that there is obviously a demand for it. While its possible that this statue may have been sent on to another country theres every possibility that the cocaine was destined for the New Zealand market and we would be naive to think otherwise
The highest penalty for importing cocaine into New Zealand is life imprisonment.