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Drug trafficking focus of Internat'l Customs Day

Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Minister of Customs

25 January 2008 Media Statement
Drug trafficking focus of International Customs Day

The fight against drug trafficking is the focus of International Customs Day tomorrow (Saturday 26 January), and New Zealand Customs is marking the event with an activity day at the Maritime Museum in Auckland today.

International Customs Day is a key date for customs administrations around the world, including New Zealand, says Customs Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

New Zealand and other members of the World Customs Organisation would be among 171 customs administrations to celebrate International Customs Day.

"Drug trafficking is organised and managed by international crime syndicates, and involves groups who are well networked, and that’s why this year's Customs day is dedicated to ensuring we do everything in our power to stamp out drug trafficking," Nanaia Mahuta said. "The theme is ‘the fight against drug trafficking'."

"New Zealand celebrations will include an activity day at the Maritime Museum which will have drug detector dog demonstrations, and where people can take part in demonstrations of the X-ray unit as well as visits by the Hawk IV and Deodar III which both play important roles in border security.

"Since 2007 Customs has intercepted over 1.4 million capsules of methamphetamine precursors which would be enough to make about 90kg of pure methamphetamine with an estimated value of $1 million per kilo,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

"Customs has also intercepted nearly 40kg of pure methamphetamine. These interceptions show that Customs is clearly having an impact, and this is due in large part to the dedication and vigilance of Customs staff.”

Nanaia Mahuta says Customs is a leading international player in customs issues, and, in the fight against drug trafficking, working with other government agencies like Police to stamp out the rising tide of trafficking.

“Customs is finding precursors concealed in a variety of ways, from mail to air and sea freight, parcels and passengers at airports, and that’s why Customs have to be good at what they do,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

“New Zealand Customs has a strong reputation for integrity and reliability and that is something the service strives to maintain.”


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