Four arrested over big cocaine haul

A large consignment of cocaine bound for New Zealand streets has been intercepted by authorities in Auckland.

Four Brazilian men were arrested yesterday over the haul.

Three appeared at Christchurch District Court today and were remanded in custody.

A fourth man is due to appear at Auckland District Court.

Charge sheets allege that Marcos Andre Barbosa, 35, Josue Da Conceicao, 36, and another jointly charged co-offender, tried to import the class A controlled drug into New Zealand on Friday.

Two days later, they were allegedly caught in possession of the drug, along with 31-year-old Thiago Augusto De Oliveira.

De Oliveira, a factory hand of Riccarton, was today remanded in custody until Thursday for a bail application to be made.

Barbosa, a labourer whose address was given as being in the Linwood area of Christchurch, and Da Conceicao of the same address, have been charged with importing and possession.

Judge Jane Farish remanded both in custody to March 20.

The haul comes after a $1 million stash of cocaine was found by chance in a shipping container in Christchurch in February.

Police say it was likely intended for European consumption.

- Kurt Bayer of APNZ

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