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Drug courier sentenced for importing heroin

20 August 2014

Drug courier sentenced for importing heroin

South African drug courier, Laura Elizabeth Cilliers, was sentenced today in the Christchurch District Court to 7 years and 10 months in prison for importing approximately 1.2 kilograms of heroin.

Cilliers, who doctors say is lucky to be alive, was questioned by Customs officers at Christchurch Airport when she landed on a flight from Cambodia on 15 June.

A total of 99 pellets of heroin, with a street value of $1.2 million, were found concealed in Cillier’s luggage, and on and inside her body. One pellet was later surgically removed because of the health risk.

Customs Manager Investigations, Maurice O’Brien says the sentencing is a great result, which was achieved with Police assistance.

“It shows that drug smugglers will get tough penalties in New Zealand – and that message will get through to the couriers and drug syndicates.

“We see some very imaginative efforts at concealing drugs, and Customs works hard to detect these and protect our communities at the border.

“Ms Cilliers is one of several foreign couriers intercepted by Customs officers this year trying to smuggle Class A drugs into New Zealand.”

The maximum penalty for importing Class A controlled drugs into New Zealand is life imprisonment which highlights the seriousness of this type of offending.

-ends-


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