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Illegal drugs worth millions destroyed

MEDIA RELEASE


26 June 2013
Illegal drugs worth millions destroyed
Customs has today destroyed 729 kg of drugs estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars, to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The truckload of drugs destroyed included controlled drugs such as methamphetamine and its precursors, cocaine, GBL, ecstasy, cannabis, white powder psychoactive substances, and synthetic cannabinoids such as Kronic and K2.

Customs Manager Investigations Mark Day says drug abuse and illicit trafficking is a global problem and Customs is helping to protect New Zealand’s communities by interrupting the supply chain.

“Today’s destruction marks another successful year of seizures. Disrupting organised criminal networks is Customs’ top priority and our focus remains on intercepting drugs, targeting importers and arresting those individuals involved.

“A large part of Customs’ frontline activity involves gathering intelligence, identifying risks, detecting and intercepting drugs, conducting investigations, and prosecuting individuals in order to keep our communities safe,” he says.

“Traditional drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine remain high on Customs’ hit list. There’s also increasing concern and focus over the emergence of newer highs such as synthetic cannabinoids and other psychoactive substances used to make ecstasy mimics.

“These substances keep evolving in chemical composition and pose a real health danger to consumers who are taking untested and potentially deadly products,” Mr Day says.

The Psychoactive Substances Bill currently before parliament puts the onus on importers to prove their substances are low risk and approved by a regulator before they will be released by Customs.

Mr Day says the illicit drug market, like any other, is governed by consumer demand and supply. The demand will continue to see criminal networks attempting to smuggle drugs across New Zealand’s border.

Customs focuses on the illicit trade of drugs - in support of the government’s National Drug Policy and Methamphetamine Action Plan - and works in partnership with local law enforcement and overseas administrations to disrupt the supply chain.

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