Three friends gone fishing.
That's what anyone who saw the men launch the 5.7m boat from the ramp and into the water would think.
Floating between Sulphur Point and the marina on the Mount Maunganui side of the harbour, the trio of men waited patiently in the dark.
It was 10pm on a Monday night and their catch was about to arrive.
About an hour later, the Maersk Antares appeared from behind Mauao, the iconic mountain at the edge of the sea.
The huge container ship slowly pulled into the harbour and docked at the Port of Tauranga, on the Sulphur Point side.
The three men anchored their boat nearby the Antares, keeping up the appearance of a fishing trip. Then moved closer to the rear of the vessel.
It was now nearly midnight.
Then something odd happened.
Donning a wetsuit, one of the men slipped into the water and swam to the rudder. Mario Habulin wasn't diving for crayfish.
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On reaching the stern, the 47-year-old from Croatia climbed into the bulkhead. Two Australians, Benjamin Northway and Matthew Scott, waited in the boat for his signal.
The bright glare of a torch pierced the darkness, about 30 minutes later.
Two duffel bags splashed into the water with Habulin, as the Australians motored over to pick them up.
The trio went back to the ramp, winched the boat back on the trailer, then drove off in the Volkswagen Amarok ute.
Once safely parked in the garage of the Mount Maunganui home, they unpacked the bags.
Inside were 46 packages wrapped in green, silver and brown tape. Each weighed 1kg. Cocaine was inside each one.
They had done it.
In scenes plucked from a Hollywood heist caper, they had successfully smuggled the largest ever shipment of cocaine destined for the New Zealand market.
Unfortunately for them, investigators from Customs and the police had caught the whole episode on camera.
A few hours later, police raided the house and seized the 46kg of cocaine.
The following day, a search of Scott and Northway's address in Auckland found five more 1kg parcels of cocaine and boxes of cash totalling $623,000.
It is unusual for law enforcement to watch an illicit importation of drugs unfold in front of them.
But the midnight "fishing" mission on October 31, 2017 was the peak of a covert investigation, Operation Heracles, which followed their every move for five months.
The inquiry uncovered a sprawling international drug network in which criminals from eastern Europe smuggled cocaine from South America, Australians distributed the drug in New Zealand, but a separate Asian syndicate laundered millions of dollars back out of the country.
Over the course of 2017, Operation Heracles established Habulin and another individual flew from Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, into New Zealand on several occasions.
Each time, they pretended to be researching business opportunities. But they never turned up to the meetings.
These trips would coincide with Maersk container ships travelling from Mexico, through the Panama Canal, Colombia, Peru, Chile and then finally, Tauranga.
Bugged conversations show Matthew Scott, one of the Australians, was negotiating to buy a "Seabob" - a submersible scooter - which he insisted must be painted black.
However, the Seabob did not arrive in time for the October 31, 2017 shipment.
When Habulin arrived in New Zealand on October 27 with Deni Cavallo, a Croatian national, police were waiting at the airport.
The pair were under constant surveillance and were met in downtown Auckland by Scott, who was driving his VW Amarok.
Not only were police watching, they were listening.
Covert electronics device had been planted inside the Amarok ute, as well as the apartment in which Habulin and Cavallo were staying.
They caught the bus to Tauranga and booked into the Trinity Wharf Hotel on the waterfront.
Scott and his fellow Australian Benjamin Northway drove the Amarok down to the Mount, towing the 5.7m boat behind them.
This was for the "fishing" trip which led to the 46kg bust: worth an estimated $20 million at street retail prices.
The extra 5kg of cocaine found the next day, alongside the $623,000, was all that remained from a previous 30kg cache of cocaine.
There was also evidence of a third successful shipment, of an unknown quantity, which made it through the border.
But where was the money?
Operation Heracles uncovered the existence of "International Controller Networks" operating in New Zealand.
These are criminal financial networks that move money anywhere in the world for organised criminal groups.
"When a criminal wants to move money illicitly they will make an approach through criminal networks and then contracts are established to move the money," Detective Superintendent Greg Williams wrote in an affidavit to the Court of Appeal, on a separate case.
"In order to protect both parties a token number (often the serial number of a banknote) is provided.
"Meetings often take place in locations like shopping mall carparks where the cash is handed over."
Williams, who is the officer in charge of the National Organised Crime Group, specifically mentioned Operation Heracles in his affidavit.
"The female launderer came into New Zealand and then either deposited cash into people's bank accounts or used another illegal remitter based in Auckland to move the money out of New Zealand."
He was talking about Thi Lieu Le, a 52-year-old beauty salon operator from Vietnam.
She made several trips to Auckland in 2017 and received bags of cash on four occasions in amounts of $394,000, $298,000, $200,000 and $398,000.
On the fourth and final occasion, Customs investigators were secretly watching when Habulin met with Le outside the Les Mills gym on Victoria St.
He gave her a blue bag containing $398,000 in cash.
"Customs officers who observed this handover indicated that the blue canvas bag appeared very heavy as the defendant Le struggled to carry it," according to a police summary of the case.
She was later arrested in Sydney and extradited back to New Zealand to serve a three-year prison sentence for money laundering $1.29m.
Le was just a cash courier, at the bottom of the chain, but longer prison sentences are expected for the four men who orchestrated the smuggling and supply of cocaine.
This week, on the eve of the six-week trial in the High Court at Rotorua, each admitted their respective roles.
Cavallo, 47, pleaded guilty to participating in an organised criminal group and importing the 46kg of cocaine on October 31, 2017.
Habulin, also 47, pleaded guilty to importing cocaine three times, possession for supply, supply, participating in an organised criminal group as well as money laundering.
Scott, 45, pleaded guilty to laundering nearly $1.2m, importing cocaine, two charges of supplying the Class-A drug, possession of cocaine for supply and participating in an organised criminal group.
Northway, 36, admitted possession of 30kg of cocaine for supply, importing cocaine and participating in the same organised criminal group.
All four are in custody before their sentencing hearing in August.
As well as exposing the use of professional money launderers in New Zealand, Operation Heracles provided concrete proof of the upswing of cocaine.
Ten years ago, Customs seized 3kg of the Class-A drug.
The 46kg seized in this case was the largest single shipment of cocaine discovered in New Zealand, outstripping the 35kg hidden inside a diamante-encrusted horse head in May 2016.
Just a month after Operation Heracles, Customs and police stopped 24kg of cocaine in Northland.
This was surpassed by the 190kg hidden in banana boxes in Auckland International Airport last November; however, this massive shipment was destined for the Australian market.
Although methamphetamine is still the drug of choice in New Zealand, the seizures are proof of an increasing trend of cocaine use in recent years.
Customs and police say cartels based in Mexico and South America are attracted by the profitable markets of New Zealand and Australia.
A gram of cocaine costs $360 in New Zealand, which is nearly four times what Americans pay, according to a 2018 global survey.
"It's all highly organised," Customs investigations manager Jamie Bamford said of efforts to smuggle cocaine into New Zealand in an interview with the Herald on Sunday in June last year.
"We think Mexican criminal gangs and [South American] cartels sit behind this. 'There is a glut of cocaine out there, where can we send it? The Kiwis are willing to pay top dollar, let's go', is how the cartels think."