New Zealand police find 35 kilos of cocaine in diamante horse head

New Zealand police have arrested three men after the discovery of a record 35 kilograms of cocaine in a diamante horse-head sculpture that drug smugglers had sent from Mexico.

On Sunday, police in the city of Auckland asked the public for help in identifying a man "believed to speak with a Spanish-sounding accent," who had been filmed on CCTV in a city centre hotel.

The haul, discovered in May in the 400-kilogram diamante-encrusted sculpture, is "New Zealand's largest-ever cocaine seizure," the police said in a statement on Saturday.

"This is obviously an extremely large amount of cocaine, and in the past we've only found very small amounts of this drug. Prior to this, the average amount of cocaine seized by police each year was around 250 grams," Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Parmenter said.

The unusual sculpture had aroused the suspicions of customs officials, who on closer inspection found 35 bricks of high-grade cocaine hidden inside.

The arrested include a 44-year-old Mexican and a 56-year-old US citizen.

Last update: Sun, 03/07/2016 - 14:18
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