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Horse head cocaine bust accused named

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/12/2016

All three men arrested following New Zealand's biggest cocaine seizure can now be named.

American Ronald Cook Snr, 56, and Mexican nationals Augustin Suarez, 44, and Gonzalo Rivera-Pavon, 30, were arrested in July after Customs found 35kgs of the drug inside a 400kg diamante-encrusted horse head statue that arrived by plane from Mexico.

Appearing at the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday on charges of importing and possessing the drug, four weeks was allocated for their trial next year.

All three deny the charges.

New Zealand police say they find an average 250g of cocaine in a year, and at the time believed the size of the haul suggested there could be a connection to offshore organised crime.

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