New Zealand Finds $25m Cocaine Hidden in Bananas.

 New Zealand Finds $25m Cocaine Hidden in Bananas.

New Zealand police and customs officials said on Friday they seized 190 kg of cocaine with a street value of $25 million that arrived in Auckland in a shipment of bananas.

The seizure was the country’s largest-ever drug bust.

A 41-year-old man was arrested in neighboring Australia in connection with the seizure, New Zealand authorities said.

Police put the street value of the cocaine at between NZ$28 million and NZ$36 million ($19 million-$25 million).

The haul followed an Australian investigation into an organised crime group. Officials there said a potential shipment of illicit drugs was heading to Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, after leaving Balboa, Panama, on Aug. 4.

The shipment arrived in Auckland on Aug. 20. Authorities inspected the container and found five duffel bags on top of banana boxes that contained 190 blocks of cocaine, each weighing around a kilogram.

The joint investigation between New Zealand and Australian authorities concluded in the past 24 hours with the arrest of the unidentified man in Sydney, the statement said.

Police said the drugs were destined for Australia.

“This seizure has stopped what would have been a very significant amount of harm,” New Zealand’s Minister of Customs Kris Faafoi said in a separate statement.

Ayomide Oyewole

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