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2.5 kilograms of cocaine discovered in suitcases

2.5 kilograms of cocaine discovered in suitcases


Detectives from the Organised and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand (OFCANZ), working together with Customs Officers and Police, have arrested and charged four people with serious drug importation and supply offences following the termination of Operation Grenoble.

Operation Grenoble began on Friday 7 March when approximately 2.5 kilograms of cocaine was discovered by Customs officers at Auckland International Airport. The drugs were concealed in two suitcases which were brought into the country by a 42 year-old Brazilian national who arrived on a flight from South America.

Detective Senior Sergeant Lloyd Schmid from OFCANZ Auckland said the cocaine seized during Operation Grenoble had a street value of up to $1 million .

“Over the last five days we have undertaken enquiries to establish the intended path of the cocaine and made a number of arrests,” Mr Schmid said. “In the process we have uncovered a supply route from Auckland to Christchurch.”

On Sunday 9 March a 31 year old Brazilian man was arrested in Auckland as he prepared to transport the drugs to the South Island.

On Monday 10 March the Canterbury District Armed Offenders squad stopped a vehicle in Gloucester Street, Christchurch and arrested a 35 year old Brazilian man who had taken possession of the suitcases. Later that evening another 36 year old Brazilian man was arrested at a Linwood address.

“Operation Grenoble is another great example of enforcement agencies sharing intelligence, resources and expertise to combat trans-national crime,” Mr Schmid said.

Customs Manager Investigations Maurice O’Brien said that Customs will continue to utilise all its resources to intercept illicit drugs and work in co-operation with OFCANZ and Police to address the threat posed by these drug importations and syndicates.

ENDS

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