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Customs Seize Yacht In Bay Of Islands

MEDIA RELEASE
7 February, 2000 13:38

CUSTOMS SEIZE YACHT IN BAY OF ISLANDS

The New Zealand Customs Service has confirmed it’s previously held suspicions that the 13 metre yacht Bora Bora 2 was actively involved in drug trafficking.

Customs Investigations Manager for Drugs & Prohibited Goods, Phil Chitty, says sufficient cause exists to suspect the vessel was used in the conveyance of forfeited goods, namely the Class A drug Cocaine, and accordingly, the yacht has been seized under the Customs and Excise Act 1996.

“Customs Officers searched the Bora Bora 2 when it arrived at Opua on 19 January 2000 and the vessel continues to be of interest to us.”

“The Bora Bora 2 is currently being towed from Opua in the Bay of Islands to Auckland by the Customs patrol vessel Hawk IV. On arrival in Auckland the yacht will be placed in secure storage pending further developments.”

“This is a unique, internationally based, investigation. NZ Customs and Police will continue to provide support and assistance to the Australian Federal Police authorities,” Mr Chitty said.

Detective Superintendent Bill Bishop, Police National Crime Manager, said “evaluation and analysis of the forensic examination carried out on the yacht is not yet complete.”

There is a range of information gained from inquiries in New Zealand and Australia which gives us reason to believe the boat played a part in the cocaine operation,” Mr Bishop said.


Ends:

Contact:
Phil Chitty
Manager Investigations, Drugs & Prohibited Goods
New Zealand Customs Service
Telephone DDI (09) 359-6588

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