On Saturday, July 2, New Zealand authorities confiscated 35 bricks of high-grade cocaine, worth roughly $11 million, from two men at Auckland International Airport. As it happens, they discovered this illicit cache in an 881- pound, diamante-encrusted horse head.


According to NBC News, this cocaine bust ranks as the largest New Zealand has ever seen — and by quite a wide margin. Detective Sgt. Colin Parmenter tells NBC that, on average, they expropriate half a pound (250 grams) of cocaine per year. My sense is that they generally do not find it tucked inside horse sculptures either, but that’s just a guess.

That’s a lot of cocaine.

The men found in possession of the drug have been arrested. As of now, they remain unidentified, although one is a 56-year-old American citizen and the other is a 44-year-old from Mexico. Officials suspect that others were involved in this operation, and so a search continues in Christchurch.


As Parmenter surmises, such a prodigious find indicates that New Zealand’s demand for cocaine is greater than previously thought. It also indicates that someone has extraordinarily garish, almost gruesome, taste in art.

Video via YouTube. Screengrab via YouTube.