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Two plead guilty ahead of $20m cocaine bust trial

Matthew Scott and Benjamin Northway, centre, pictured here with Deni Cavallo, left, and Mario Habulin. Photo: Sam Gardner/SunLive.

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Two men have pleaded guilty to playing a part in one of New Zealand's largest cocaine busts.

The 2017 bust saw $20 million worth of the class A drug stashed on the hull of a commercial shipping vessel in Tauranga. 

Matthew John Scott and Benjamin Northway pleaded guilty to nine charges at the High Court in Rotorua on Monday ahead of their trial commencing.

The charges relate to the importation of 46 kilograms of cocaine which was smuggled into the country through the Port of Tauranga on October 31, 2017.

The drugs had been stashed on the exterior hull of a Maersk shipping vessel which had just arrived from Chile.  Read more here.

Police later commenced a raid of a Mount Maunganui property and located the drugs.

Scott pleaded guilty to two charges of supplying class A drugs, one charge of money laundering, one charge of importing class A drug, one charge of participating in a criminal group, one charge of possession of a class A drug. 

The ship the drugs were seized from in New Zealand's largest cocaine bust . Photo: Andrew Campbell/SunLive.

Northway pleaded guilty to three charges of possession of a class A drug for supply, one charge of participating in a criminal group, one charge of importing class A drug. 

Two other co-accused pleaded not guilty to charges and will stand trial. 

The trial is expected to last six weeks. 

-Stuff/Matt Shand.

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That's a lot of cocaine

Posted on 24-06-2019 17:40 | By earlybird

these blokes need to get the MAXIMUM sentence.