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NZ-China drug enforcement cooperation strengthened

Hon Anne Tolley
Minister of Police

Hon Maurice Williamson
Minister of Customs

8 April 2014

NZ-China drug enforcement cooperation strengthened

Police Minister Anne Tolley and Customs Minister Maurice Williamson have announced that New Zealand’s drug enforcement relationship with China is being strengthened to help identify organised criminals in China and reduce the supply of precursors and methamphetamine into this country.

The new initiative will play a key part in the Government’s Methamphetamine Action Plan, and follows the signing of a Memorandum of Arrangement (MOA) on precursor controls between China and New Zealand in April 2013.

$1.1 million forfeited under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act will be used to place a Police attaché officer in Guangdong Province, in Southern China, for a two-year trial period. The officer will work with Chinese enforcement agencies to help identify criminals who are responsible for illicit drug or precursor chemical imports to New Zealand.

The funding will also be used to meet the cost of travel for Customs and Police staff to China to take part in targeted operations and to increase the level of engagement with Chinese enforcement agencies.

“Organised crime doesn’t stop at borders,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Our agencies are already producing good results with the support of their Chinese counterparts, and this initiative will support them to be more effective in keeping these despicable drugs out of New Zealand.

“A permanent Police presence in Guangdong and greater cooperation will allow authorities to significantly disrupt the crime syndicates who are behind the drug trade to this country, while also impacting the supply chain.”

“We don’t want these drugs in New Zealand, ruining lives and affecting our communities,” says Maurice Williamson.

“It is important that we continue to look at new ways to stay one step ahead of these criminals.”

The NZ Police attaché officer will be based at the New Zealand Consulate in Guangzhou.

$39.4 million has been forfeited to the Crown since the introduction of the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act in December 2009.

Around $33 million of this was taken from drug offenders, of which $23.8 million came from methamphetamine associated offences.

ENDS

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