German authorities have granted a New Zealand Government extradition request for a man accused of being a key player in a multimillion-dollar organised crime syndicate.
Another extradition request has been made for a man in Venezuela. Both were arrested after Interpol issued global wanted notices for them last year.
New Zealand Police say the duo are key players in an international drug ring involving a mystery West African mastermind and a Russian sailor, who imported $1.2 million worth of cocaine into New Zealand onboard a food vessel in 2016.
Last month the Herald revealed extensive details of the nearly two-year police investigation into the plot, code-named Operation Moa.
The conspiracy - which involved at least 10 people - stretched from New Zealand to Germany, eastern Europe, Ecuador and Venezuela.
It also included police phone taps and covert surveillance teams, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, international money transfers and a treasure map to $130,000 of buried cash at Auckland's Bastion Point.
One of the members of the plot, police allege, was Polish man Patryk Lukasik.
Germany has now approved his extradition to New Zealand, the Ministry of Justice confirmed to the Herald.
Money laundering and drug importation charges were laid against Lukasik in the Auckland District Court last May, court documents obtained by the Herald show.
Lukasik is accused of acting as a point of contact for father and son and fellow Poles Ryszard Wilk, 56, and Ralph Wilk, 30.
The Wilks had arrived in New Zealand in 2016, telling immigration officials they were here for a holiday.
Ryszard Wilk left New Zealand and was later arrested in the Venezuelan city of Maiquetía, with Kiwi authorities asking their Venezuelan counterparts to send him to Auckland to face charges.
Court documents show several charges against Ryszard Wilk for drug importation, drug supply, money laundering and conspiracy.
Political upheaval in Venezuela, however, may slow the process after the South American country's opposition leader declared himself interim president this week.
Ralph Wilk stayed in New Zealand and was arrested in 2017.
He was due to go to trial in September last year alongside local builder and "bag man" Bryan Williams and Auckland IT engineer Mohammed Khan, who helped launder dirty money.
But all three pleaded guilty on the eve of trial, with Ralph Wilk later being sentenced to eight years and five months' imprisonment on two representative charges for supplying a Class A drug and money laundering.
Williams and Khan were sentenced to home detention.
A woman who worked at a money remittance company on Queen St, Qiannan (Christina) Tang, has also been charged in connection to the scheme and is due to face trial later this year.