A High Court judge has continued a more than half-a-million dollar restraining order against a group accused of trying to sneak $20 million worth of cocaine off a container ship in Tauranga Harbour.
Police were granted restraining orders last December for $623,497 of cash assets and $100,000 in an ASB term deposit account against two men who allegedly helped retrieve 46kg of cocaine from a hidden compartment on the exterior of the Maersk Antares's hull.
The vessel arrived from Chile last October 31, before a group of people allegedly approached it under the cover of darkness to retrieve the drugs.
Matthew Scott, Mario Habulin, Benjamin Northway, and Deni Cavallo were all arrested when Customs and police swooped during a joint covert operation.
It was New Zealand's largest ever cocaine bust at the time, but was eclipsed last month after more than 190kg of the drug was found in a container of bananas from Panama.
The restraining orders were to expire this month unless the Commissioner of Police sought an application seeking an extension.
When Justice Timothy Brewer first made the orders the court heard the cash belonged to Scott, while the funds in the accounts were linked to Habulin.
Today in the High Court at Auckland, with no opposition offered by Scott or Haublin, Justice Simon Moore granted the police's application for an extension.
The group are due to face trial next year in the High Court at Tauranga.
Earlier this year, a Vietnamese beauty salon operator was jailed for laundering $1.29 million associated with the Tauranga bust.
Thi Lieu Le was arrested in Sydney after making two trips there in June and August last year and had also met with associates allegedly linked to drug rings in Auckland, where she received bags of cash.