Aug. 8 (UPI) -- New Zealand police are on alert after nearly 20 packages containing millions of dollars worth of cocaine washed up on a popular tourist beach.
The New Zealand Police Department said Thursday that it found 19 packages containing $2 million of cocaine on Bethells Beach, some 22 miles west of Auckland, adding it had beefed up patrols in the area in case more packages come ashore.
"There is a small possibility that further packages may turn up on the beach and we ask any members of the public to contact us immediately if they do," it said in a statement. "Eagle helicopter will be in the area today conducting a search of the wider area and we will be sending regular patrols in the coming days to continue to check for further washed up items."
Police said they were notified of the drugs's location by a caller.
"Our enquiries are ongoing to identify where these drugs have come from," the statement said.
According to the 2019 Global Drug Survey, New Zealand ranked as the most expensive country to buy cocaine where a gram of the drug costs at over $242, four times its U.S. street value.