A network of Australians - including a mysterious ringleader known as Big T in Queensland - were the brains behind the largest seizure of methamphetamine in New Zealand history.
More than 500kg of meth was smuggled from a "mothership" - which had been organised by a criminal group in Hong Kong - off the coast of Ninety Mile Beach in Northland.
The huge haul discovered in June 2016 was worth somewhere between $130 million and $150m, if sold at $250,000 to $300,000 per kilogram.
Despite the crucial mistake of trying to bring the meth ashore in the surf of a west coast beach, as well as some bad luck, the record-breaking haul was stopped only by the suspicions of Far North locals and the quick thinking of a young cop.
Within five days, Operation Frontia had made seven arrests.
"Marvel", or Stevie Cullen, was a New Zealander and Ka Yip Wan was a Hong Kong national - liaising with his bosses in Asia - but the rest of those arrested were Australian nationals, or living in Australia.
They went by aliases - "Thugga", whose real name was Jeremiah Iusitini. "Mack", or Malachi Tuilotolava.
"Gravel" was Amoki Fonua. "Tall Guy" was Ulakai Fakaosilea.
Iusitini was a close friend of Fakaosilea, who had been in an Australian detention centre before being deported to New Zealand three days before his arrest.
Hundreds of deportees from Australia, known as "501s" because of the section of the immigration law which allows people to be deported on character grounds, have been sent to New Zealand in recent years.
For several years, the police have warned of how these "Kiwis" would return to commit crimes and bolster the professionalism of the New Zealand underworld.
And it's Australia where the plan to smuggle 500kg of meth into New Zealand was hatched.
Louie, the 19-year-old driver of the campervan, was living in Australia and talked about meeting "Big T", who arranged for him to take bundles of cash to Bangkok. Big T then sent Louie to work in New Zealand.
On several occasions, Big T picked him up from the Auckland International Airport and then introduced him to Thugga (Iusitini) and Mack (Tuilotolava) who gave him orders.
Louie would transport meth around the country, as well as pick up hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. Big T returned to Australia and was not arrested in Operation Frontia.
The investigation into the 501kg importation was wrapped up quickly, but senior detectives within the National Organised Crime Group knew there would be a wider network and infrastructure still in place.
A second investigation, codenamed Operation Virunga, started with a wire tap on the telephone communications of a woman called Blaze.
She was revealed to be Selaima Fakaosilea, the sister of Ulakai "Tall Guy" Fakaosilea.
In another Australian link, their younger brother is a senior member of the Auckland chapter of the Comancheros.
Operation Virunga soon discovered the network was still in business and making millions of dollars, despite the setback in Northland.
The covert surveillance paid immediate dividends.
Selaima Fakaosilea was caught redhanded supplying 14.9kg meth and 1.9kg of cocaine to Adrian Le'Ca, a patched member of the Bandidos from the Thailand chapter.
In just three weeks, she was also seen handing over suitcases holding $3.5 million in cash to be laundered overseas.
Other deportees were involved in the distribution of meth around the country.
Selaima Fakaosilea was in a relationship with Callan Hughes, another Australian deportee, whose lieutenant Kane McArley was also a 501 deportee. All received long prison sentences.
The overwhelming evidence gathered in Operation Frontia and Operation Virunga led to most defendants pleading guilty at an early stage.
Selaima Fakaosilea admitted her role in the money laundering and distribution of meth across the country, and was jailed for 14 years and six months.
But she and Stevie Cullen denied any role in smuggling the 500kg into the country.
Both were convicted of importing methamphetamine and participating in an organised criminal group after five weeks of evidence in the High Court at Whangārei.
Yesterday, the final chapter in the long-running saga ended.
Cullen and Fakaosilea were sentenced to 27 and 12 years six months in prison respectively.
In Fakaosilea's case, her sentence will be added to the prison term she's currently serving - a total of 27 years.
Justice Christine Gordon said long sentences needed to deter others from committing the same crime, because the 501kg seizure was easily the largest in New Zealand history.
"This would have inflicted enormous social and economic cost on the community," the judge said.