Methamphetamine concealed in skincare, shampoo bottles
$3.3 million worth of methamphetamine concealed in skincare and shampoo bottles
Friday, 21 March 2014 - 2:32pm
A joint operation involving the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand (OFCANZ), Customs and Police, has intercepted 3.3 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in skincare and shampoo bottles posted from Hong Kong to New Zealand.
On 5 March, Customs officers at the International Mail Centre in Auckland intercepted nine bottles of skincare product that contained traces of methamphetamine.
The methamphetamine had been cleverly concealed but this was not beyond Customs’ detection by it various operational techniques.
Detective Snr Sgt Colin Parmenter said an individual or group of individuals went to a lot of effort to try and smuggle the methamphetamine into New Zealand without being detected.
OFCANZ and Customs officers immediately launched a surveillance operation code-named Operation Grit to track the intended path of the shipment.
A second consignment containing 1.9 kilograms of methamphetamine, also hidden in shampoo bottles, was intercepted by Customs at the International Mail Centre.
In total, the 3.3 kilograms of methamphetamine seized during Operation Grit has a street value of up to $3.3 million.
Customs Manager Investigations Maurice O’Brien says the seizure was a very good example of Customs traditional work at the border and that this operation raised the level of co-operation between Customs and OFCANZ. There are noticeable efficiencies to be gained in continuing to combine our resources and expertise to mitigate the risk that importation of illicit controlled drugs poses to our community by international criminals.
Earlier today, a 39 year old New Zealand citizen appeared in Manukau District Court charged with a number of drug related offences including Possession of a Class A Controlled Drug for Supply.
A 24 year old Chinese national was also charged this morning with a range of offences including Importing a Class A Controlled Drug.
A third defendant, who is a 22 year old Chinese national, has also been charged with Possession of a Class A Controlled Drug for Supply.
Note: The Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand (OFCANZ) targets, investigates, and disrupts individuals and groups involved in organised crime in New Zealand and trans-nationally. Established in 2008 OFCANZ also leads, coordinates and contributes to policy or legislative changes to make it harder for organised criminals to operate in New Zealand. In addition OFCANZ works with the private sector to reduce the opportunities for organised crime and raises public awareness of organised crime and the harm it causes to New Zealanders.