Nineteen packages containing cocaine worth a total of $3m (£1.6m) have washed up on a beach in New Zealand.

The class A drugs were found on Bethells Beach in West Auckland and it is thought more packages could turn up.

Police were called after the packages, contained in netting, were found by locals out for a walk, it was reported.

Bethells Beach in New Zealand
Image:
The discovery was made on Bethells Beach in New Zealand. File pic

Officers have been carrying out a search of the area, including using a helicopter, since the drugs were discovered on Wednesday.

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Each was about the size of a videotape and wrapped tightly in plastic.

The presence of shells on the netting indicated the packages were out at sea for some time, said the New Zealand Herald.

Detective Inspector Colin Parmenter, of Waitemata Police, said: “Police with the assistance of New Zealand customs have conducted a thorough search of the beach and surrounding areas in an effort to locate any further packages.

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“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.

“Eagle helicopter will be in the area today conducting a search of the wider area.

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“And we will be sending regular patrols in the coming days to continue to check for further washed up items.

“Our inquiries are ongoing to identify where these drugs have come from.”

It is not the first time significant amounts of drugs have been located on Kiwi beaches.

In 2016, 500kg – half a billion dollars worth – of methamphetamine was found on Ninety Mile Beach.

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