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More resources to fight illicit drugs trade

Hon Maurice Williamson
Minister of Customs


10 May 2010 Media Statement

More resources to fight illicit drugs trade

Budget 2010 will provide $5.9 million of capital funding to Customs over the next two years to fight the illicit drugs trade through enhanced tracking and surveillance, Customs Minister Maurice Williamson says.

This funding will allow Customs to move into the digital age with new, more advanced tools to detect the activities of drug criminals.

"Tools of this kind are vital if we are to more effectively clamp down on criminal gangs and the 'P' (methamphetamine) trade," Mr Williamson says.

"This funding announcement reflects the Government’s commitment to fighting the illicit drugs trade. It supports the Methamphetamine Action Plan that directs government agencies to work together to reduce demand and supply of 'P'."

The Budget funding will give Customs technology not previously available to any agency in New Zealand.

"It will enhance the ability of Customs to work collaboratively with other agencies and allow them to gather the most robust intelligence and evidence to assist successful prosecutions."

These new tools will also help fight other illegal trade, such as animal and plant products, endangered species, weapons and objectionable material.

Budget 2010 also provides additional operating funding of $1.2 million rising to $1.7 million per year over the next four years to fight the illicit drugs trade.


ENDS

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