Mysterious packages washing up on Australian beach turn out to be huge cocaine stash

Australian police searching beaches in New South Wales find packages believed to contain huge stash of cocaine over Christmas period

Namita Singh
Thursday 28 December 2023 14:17

Related: Spanish police find 7.5 tonnes of cocaine hidden inside tuna

Australian police searching the beaches in New South Wales found packages believed to contain more than 120kg of cocaine during the Christmas period.

The packages washed up over several days, with the first batch being discovered on 22 December near Magenta beach, located 80km from Sydney. They contained 39 smaller parcels of 1kg cocaine bricks, police said.

“Police have now been told presumptive testing indicates the package contains cocaine,” authorities wrote in a release last Friday.

On Sunday, seven similar packages containing 7kg cocaine were recovered, said police. A third batch was found on the day after Christmas when a fisherman at a beach just north of Sydney informed the police about finding a blue barrel allegedly containing 39 wrapped packages of 1kg cocaine.

The same day, another 39 packages of similar kind were reported to have been found near Newcastle, taking the total recovered cocaine amount to 124kg.

In each case, the police seized the package for further forensic examination, as they urged the locals to report any similar packages washing up on the shore. In a statement on its Facebook page on Wednesday, the New South Wales Police said that they were working closely with the local police and specialist resources, including the Australian Border Force and Surf Life Saving NSW, to find the origin.

“We thank those who have heeded the warning to report any suspicious packages to police as we get to the bottom of this matter and we remind people that being in possession of a prohibited drug is a criminal offence,” said detective chief superintendent Jason Weinstein.

“Detectives and specialist police are currently combing beaches and coastlines for any outstanding packages and working behind the scenes to make sure we find and hold accountable those responsible.”

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