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Customs Vigilance Foils Drug Plans

8 January 2002

Alert Customs Officers at Auckland’s International Mail Centre have foiled a drug smuggler’s plan to use the Christmas mail rush to ‘hide’ his drug package, with the seizure of approximately 800 grams of high purity heroin in a parcel posted from South-East Asia.

A joint Police Customs operation conducted as a follow up to this seizure resulted this morning in the arrest of three men at an address in Napier.

Customs Officers are under extreme pressure at Christmas time with increased volumes of mail in particular. It is not unusual for drug smugglers to use the Christmas mail to try to conceal their consignments.

In the period immediately pre and post Christmas a number of drug interdictions were made involving significant quantities of drugs such as 800 grams of high purity Heroin, and several ecstasy seizures totalling some 11,000+ tabs.

There were also seizures of Ice (crystal Methamphetamine) and Mescaline (a class A drug originating in a variety of cactus) plus the usual run of seizures of cannabis, cannabis resin, steroids and ephedrine tabs.

“Notwithstanding the pressure that they are under at Christmas time, our staff at the mail centre always remain vigilant and come up trumps,” says Phil Chitty, Customs Manager Drugs and Prohibited Goods/Investigations.

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