Turns out hiding 35 bricks of high-grade cocaine in a 400kg diamante-encrusted horse sculpture isn't the most discreet way to transport drugs.
A joint Customs and Police investigation has resulted in the largest ever seizure of cocaine in New Zealand, worth an estimated street value of $NZ14 million.
The sculpture had been shipped into the country from Mexico in early May. Customs officers searched the unusual sculpture and discovered the 35-brick haul hidden inside.
The joint investigation has resulted in the arrest of three men with a smuggling attempt.
A Mexican man and an American man were arrested at Auckland International Airport on Friday night as they attempted to fly to Hawaii and another Mexican man was detained in Christchurch.
"This is obviously an extremely large amount of cocaine, and in the past we've only found very small amounts of this drug," Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Parmenter, said in a statement.
"Prior to this, the average amount of cocaine seized by Police each year was around 250 grams. What this find tells us though is that there is obviously a demand for it. While it's possible that this statue may have been sent on to another country, but there's every possibility that the cocaine was destined for the New Zealand market and we would be naïve to think otherwise."