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Cocaine packages found on Auckland beach were tossed off inflatable boat near NSW coast in August 2018 - police

Packets of cocaine were tossed overboard from a boat off the coast of New South Wales in August, before it washed up on a West Auckland beach this week.

Yesterday police said they found 20 packages containing cocaine on Bethells Beach on Wednesday.

Detective Inspector Colin Parmenter of Waitematā Police said that it's believed the amount found would have a street value of $3 million.

Now, police can say how the packages came to be washed up in New Zealand. 

They believe the drugs were destined for Australia. 

"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," Mr Parmenter said today.

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

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It’s thought the drugs are worth up to $3 million. Source: 1 NEWS

"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."

Police carried out a thorough search of the beach, including from the air, and will continue patrolling the area.

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The packages, found along Bethells Beach in West Auckland, are estimated to be worth $3 million. Source: 1 NEWS