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Brazilian tourist behind bars for cocaine smuggling

11 July 2014

Brazilian tourist behind bars for cocaine smuggling

A 20-year-old Brazilian tourist will not see much of New Zealand, after being sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in the Manukau District Court today for trying to smuggle around $656,000 of cocaine into the country. He will be deported after serving jail time.

Customs officers arrested Lucas Pereira at Auckland International Airport in May after a search of his luggage revealed 1.875 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside the lining of both his suitcases.

Customs investigations established that he was approached at a party in Brazil in January and offered a large sum of money for carrying cocaine into the country. He was given NZ$2000 and extra cash for air tickets and sight-seeing in New Zealand.

Manager Investigations, Maurice O’Brien says this is yet another case of a young man being enticed with money to pose as a tourist and carry drugs into the country.

“Criminal syndicates don’t care about the consequences drug mules face when offering them these opportunities. This man has learnt the hard way that the promise of cash and free overseas travel was not worth the price he will pay.”

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