Cocaine discovered inside decorative horse head in New Zealand

Posted at 9:19 AM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 09:19:16-04

(RTV via NBC NEWSCHANNEL) New Zealand customs and police say they have seized 77 pounds of cocaine brought into the country inside a diamante-encrusted horse head.

The discovery was made back in May with the airfreight package delivered to an address in Auckland where police were carrying out surveillance.

On Friday New Zealand media reported that two suspects, a 44-year-old Mexican and a 56-year-old American man, were arrested by police trying to board a flight to Hawaii.

Following searches at an apartment block in Christchurch on Saturday, a third man from Mexico was also arrested.

The drugs, packaged into 35 bricks weighing about two pounds each, were pushed up inside a cavity in the horse's neck before being mounted on its stand.

New Zealand media reported the drugs haul is worth an estimated $10 million.

"There is a significant organized crime group offshore that will be responsible for this and who have now lost a whole lot of money,” National Organized Crime Manager Detective Superintendent Virginia Le Bas said.

According to local media, this is the second major drug haul by New Zealand authorities in less than four weeks.