A multi-million dollar cocaine trafficking syndicate has been shut down after the arrest of four people in a trans-Tasman police operation.
Police said the drug syndicate was using New Zealand as a stop off point for cocaine shipments travelling between South America and Australia.
It is believed it was responsible for trafficking more than 18 kilograms of cocaine seized by the Australian authorities in the past few months, police said.
One of its members was arrested when Auckland Customs intercepted 2kgs of cocaine - with a street value of $1.5 million - on its way to Australia last week, police said.
Three more men have now been arrested in New Zealand as a result of the seizures and investigations on both sides of the Tasman, police announced this afternoon.
Those arrested include two Australians, aged 27 and 49, a 26-year-old Brazilian resident
in Australia and a 23-year-old year old Brazilian.
Charges against them include importing a class A controlled drug, conspiracy to export a class A controlled drug and possession and supply of a class A controlled drug.
Detective Inspector Bruce Good said he was happy with the international cooperation involved in shutting down the operation.
"Our combined efforts we have prevented a significant drug operation from continuing to operate and expand."
Customs drug investigations manager Mark Day said the cocaine border seizure was a significant success for enforcement agencies.
"This success comes down to the determination and hard work of everyone involved in this multi-agency operation."
Police worked with the Organised Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand (OFCANZ), the Australian Federal Police and Queensland Police Service and the Australian and New Zealand Customs services on the investigation.