Sydney fisherman adds to cocaine haul washing up onto beaches

Detectives are scouring the state’s beaches and the State Crime Command has launched an investigation after police identified more washed-up packages containing bricks of cocaine in Sydney and Newcastle.

Seven packages of the illicit drug were discovered by beachgoers from Manly to Newcastle on Christmas Eve. After members of the public found two more hoards of the illicit drug on Boxing Day, the total amount of cocaine seized over the last week comes to 124 kilograms.

A northern beaches fisherman reeled in the first unusual catch of the day on Tuesday morning when he discovered a blue barrel on Barrenjoey Headland stuffed with 39 wrapped-up bricks of cocaine, each weighing a kilogram.

Later that day, police descended on the recently re-opened Newcastle Ocean Baths when swimmers reported a suspicious package laying on ocean rocks by the barrier of one of the concrete pools.

The black bag contained another 39 bricks of cocaine, nearly 40 kilograms, wrapped in brown tape and plastic.

Police sent the packages for further forensic testing and referred the finds to the State Crime Command’s newly launched investigation.

The package of cocaine next to the Newcastle Ocean Baths.Credit: NSW Police

Director of State Crime Command, Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Weinstein, said detectives and specialist police are combing beaches across the state for any “outstanding packages” and working to identify the individuals who may be responsible for the illegal flotsam.

“We thank those who have heeded the warning to report any suspicious packages to police as we get to the bottom of this matter and we remind people that being in possession of a prohibited drug is a criminal offence,” Weinstein said.

The first cocaine package was found on Magenta Beach, about halfway between Sydney and Newcastle, on December 22 by a member of the public. Like the two packages discovered on Boxing Day, it contained 39 one-kilo bricks of cocaine.

On Christmas Eve, NSW Police issued a warning to the public after seven smaller barnacle-encrusted packets of the drug washed up at Magenta Beach, Pelican Beach, Blacksmith Beach, Avoca Beach, Pentaloon Bay and North Steyne Beach in Manly.

PolAir, border force authorities and Surf Life Saving NSW are working with local police to help identify and report any further suspicious packages washing up on beaches during the busy Christmas period.

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