Police in New Zealand stated in a Wednesday news conference that they pulled off one of the greatest drug busts in recent memory after discovering a large cache of cocaine floating in the Pacific.
The operation, dubbed Hydros, saw law enforcement haul 81 bales of the drug, according to New Zealand’s 1 News.
The floating cache of contraband was seized in a joint operation conducted by New Zealand police, customs, and the New Zealand Defense Force.
The drugs are estimated to be worth “half a billion dollars” in street value, according to Reuters.
The drugs have since been disposed of by authorities but police did discover some curious symbols on the bales, 1 News reported.
Some were marked by a four-leaf clover while others were found with the famous Batman symbol from DC comics.
As can be imagined, New Zealand law enforcement was thrilled with the staggering bust at sea, claiming it as a massive victory against the cartels who supply and traffic such drugs.
“There is no doubt this discovery lands a major financial blow right from the South American producers through to the distributors of this product,” Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said.
“This is the single biggest seizures of illegal drugs by authorities in this country by some margin. While this disrupts the syndicate’s operations, we remain vigilant given the lengths we know these groups will go to circumvent coming to law enforcement’s attention.”
Coster told journalists that a cache the size of the one seized in the Pacific was likely meant for Australian shores, given its immense size, as reported by 1 News.
“We believe there was enough cocaine to service the Australian market for about one year, and was enough cocaine to service the New Zealand market for 30 years,” Coster explained.
As reported by Fox News, no arrests have been made in connection to the drug bust, but the investigation is ongoing.
“It is a huge illustration of what lengths organized crime will go to with their global drug trafficking operations and shows that we are not exempt from major organized criminal drug smuggling efforts in this part of the world,” said New Zealand Customs Service Acting Controller Bill Perry, 1 News reported.
Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour of the New Zealand navy praised all parties involved in Operation Hydros, citing the importance of protecting the country’s shores.
“We had the right people and the right capabilities to provide the support required and it was great to work alongside the New Zealand Police and the New Zealand Customs Service,” he stated.
“We were very pleased with the result and are happy to be a part of this successful operation and are proud to play our part in protecting New Zealand.”
It has not been revealed how law enforcement discovered the cache.
This is not the first instance of cartel efforts being foiled at sea.
Last September, the U.S. Coast Guard, aided by the Dutch navy, seized $475 million worth of cocaine and marijuana in the Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.