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Cocaine washes ashore near Newcastle Ocean Baths

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For the second time in a handful of days, another package of cocaine has washed ashore in the Hunter, the latest near the newly-opened Newcastle Ocean Baths.

The first parcel was located at Blacksmiths Beach at Swansea on Sunday 24 December.

Then a further brick surfaced at the iconic Shortland Esplanade pool more than 48 hours later.

Photo: NSW Police Force

About 5.30pm on Tuesday 26 December, officers attached to Newcastle City Police District were called to the Newcastle Ocean Baths after a member of the public found a suspicious bundle containing approximately 39 individually-sealed packages.

It’s believed to have held about 39kg of cocaine.

The State Crime Command has now begun an investigation after several bricks – alleged to contain approximately 124kg of the drug – washed up on NSW beaches over the past week.

“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,” Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Weinstein said.

“We thank those who have heeded the warning to report any suspicious bundles to police as we get to the bottom of this matter.

“It’s also timely to point out to people that possession of a prohibited drug is a criminal offence.”

cocaine
Photo: NSW Police Force

About 8pm on Friday 22 December, officers from Tuggerah Lakes Police District were called to Magenta Beach.

They seized the item in question, which contained 39 sealed packages inside, suspected to be approximately 39kg of cocaine.

On Christmas Eve, members of the public located a further seven individually-wrapped packages at Magenta Beach, Pelican Beach, Blacksmith Beach, Avoca Beach, Pentaloon Bay and North Steyne Beach.

They were handed in to local police, believed to contain a further 7kg of cocaine.

About 11am on Boxing Day, officers attached to Marine Area Command were called to Barrenjoey Headland off the Northern Beaches where a fisherman had located a blue barrel containing 39 individually-wrapped 1kg bricks.

Local police started initial inquiries in each case – seizing the packages to undergo further forensic examination – before the matter was referred to State Crime Command.

As inquiries continue, detectives are working closely with police and specialist resources such as PolAir and Marine Area Command, as well as Australian Border Force and Surf Life Saving NSW, to capture any outstanding bundles and determine their origin.

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au

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