Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Drugs in baby grand pianos

20 March 2014

Drugs in baby grand pianos

Two Chinese student flatmates have been sentenced to three years and four months’ imprisonment for their roles in importing Contac NT hidden inside miniature grand pianos.

Flatmates Haojiang Li, 23, and Zuoquan Wang, 25, were sentenced at the Manukau District Court for importation and possession of a class B controlled drug. A third flatmate, Guangdi Liu, 21, was sentenced to three years and eight months’ imprisonment in October 2013.

Operation Mini began last June, after Customs officers at the International Mail Centre intercepted a miniature grand piano sent from China. Upon examination, about 4.5kg of compressed Contac NT powder was located inside the piano lid. Another piano was intercepted two weeks later.

Each piano had enough Contac NT to yield up to 1.2 kg of methamphetamine or ‘P’, with a street value of up to $1.44m.

Customs investigators caught Li and Liu in their car after they picked up the package and ripped it open, dismantling the piano on their drive home. Also in the car was NZ$2,255 in cash.

Wang was interviewed during a search warrant at their Massey flat the same day. Customs officers also located $2,150 in his car and removed a number of electronic items for further examination. He was arrested at Auckland Airport the next evening, trying to flee to China.

Customs Manager Investigations, Maurice O’Brien says this case highlights a common trend of international students being used by criminal syndicates as ‘catchers’ to receive and deliver packages, usually in exchange for money.

“It’s unfortunate these students get caught up in this illicit trade and end up bearing the full brunt of the law, jeopardising their future. It can be particularly distressing for their families in China, especially as many come from single-child families.”

Mr O’Brien says no one is immune to criminal elements, and it’s important the public is aware of some of the methods these criminals use.

“Criminals could be renting properties or apartments solely to have packages delivered to that address, or asking others to receive a package on their behalf. In this case, it appears they were asking unsuspecting friends to receive the packages at their home addresses,” he says.

Drug handling could be happening openly in universities, schools, or student apartments. The public should report any suspected behaviours or concerns to 0800 4 CUSTOMS or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

-ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City between Paterson Street and Buckle Street/Taranaki Street...

Parties specified under Section 149Q(3) of the RMA now have 20 working days to make comments on minor or technical aspects of the report. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Tribunal: Report On The MV Rena

In its interim report, the Waitangi Tribunal has found that the Crown’s conduct in response to the grounding of the MV Rena on Otaiti (Astrolabe) reef breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza: Wellington Protest For Palestine Calls For End To Bombing

Around 300 people gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Wellington on Friday to protest Israel’s occupation of Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Failure To Prosecute The GCSB

So one hand of the state – the Independent Police Conduct Authority – has now washed the hands of its brother agencies, and declared that all hands are clean. Case closed. More>>

ALSO:

Illegal Search: Police Behaviour 'Reminiscent Of Tūhoe Raids'

"Māori will lose further trust and confidence in the New Zealand Police and the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) if the recent incident in Stratford is not adequately addressed. This behaviour would not occur in Epsom or Khandallah so why should police think that such behaviour was acceptable in Stratford," says Chris McKenzie. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news