$1 million worth of cocaine bricks wash up in Sydney

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Five more “bricks” of cocaine worth almost $1 million have been discovered washed up on Sydney beaches.

Early Monday morning, two packages were found by beachgoers at Freshwater beach and reported to lifeguards around 7:30am.

Three more bricks were discovered at nearby Curl Curl beach, all wrapped in plastic and secured with tape.

The total weight of the cocaine found was five kilograms, which translates to a street value estimated of over $900,000, assuming a sale price of $180,000 per kilo as reported by the NSW Crime Commission.

The Northern Beaches Police Area Command seized the drugs for forensic examination following the discovery.

“Officers attached to Northern Beaches Police Area Command seized the items, which will be forensically examined,” police said in a statement.

“Police from Marine Area Command conducted patrols with no further finds. As inquiries continue, the public are reminded to report any suspicious package to authorities.”

Marine Area Command police conducted patrols but did not find any additional packages.

The public has been urged to report any further suspicious packages to the authorities.

The origin of the drug packages is unclear, but there is a suggestion that they might have been thrown overboard or attached to the hull of a cargo vessel. Evidence such as barnacles on some packages suggests they had been in the water for weeks.

Since December 22, when the first package was found at Magenta Beach on The Central Coast, more than 250 kilograms of cocaine have washed up on various beaches around Sydney.

Following the initial discovery, additional packages were found at several locations including Manly, North Steyne, Blacksmiths Beach, Pelican Beach, Pantaloon Bay, Lake Macquarie, Avoca Beach, Barrenjoey, Newcastle’s Ocean Baths, and North Bondi.

Two of the finds consisted of larger packages, each containing up to 39 kilograms of cocaine, discovered at Barrenjoey and Newcastle’s Ocean Baths on Boxing Day, with another 39 kilos found in Botany shortly after.

In January, NSW Police State Crime Command director Jason Weinstein told the ABC the drugs had originated in South America and that cargo ships were a preferred method of smuggling the drug.

“We know syndicates will use a number of methods through shipping containers,” he said.

“Sometimes we do see where items are deliberately tossed into the ocean to be picked up by another vessel.

“The reason it’s appearing now was probably due to the tropical storm in North Queensland and the significant rough seas and king tides in the last few weeks.”

Mr Weinstein also asked people not to go searching for remaining packages after a duo had to be rescued by water police in Pittwater while allegedly conducting their own search.

“If someone is caught in possession of one of these bricks, it’s a large commercial quantity and that carries 25 years to life imprisonment, so it’s a significant penalty,” he said.

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