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Canadian sentenced for methamphetamine in toner cartridges

Canadian sentenced for methamphetamine in toner cartridges

A 28-year-old Canadian passport holder here on ‘holiday’ was sentenced to eight and a half years’ imprisonment in the Manukau District Court today for importing and possessing 17.9 kilograms of methamphetamine. He will serve at least half of this term before facing deportation.

Jingyuan Zhang and his travel companion arrived at Auckland Airport from Canada in January 2018. Zhang stayed in temporary accommodation in South-East Auckland.

In March, Customs examined a mail consignment from the United States linked to Zhang, locating finely powdered methamphetamine in 12 printer toner cartridges. Customs monitored the delivery of the cartridges and arrested Zhang.

Michael Blades, Customs’ Acting Group Manager Intelligence, Investigations & Enforcement, says renting short-term accommodation to receive illegal drugs is a known tactic of criminal syndicates.

“If you have concerns about anyone renting short-term accommodation and making out-of-the ordinary enquiries about receiving packages, they can be reported in confidence to 0800 4 CUSTOMS or to Crime stoppers.”

“While we’re always fine-tuning our risk assessments of travellers and packages entering the country, the public can help us protect our communities from illegal drugs.”

This amount of methamphetamine would have had a street value of up to $9 million in New Zealand. Based on the New Zealand Drug Harm Index, the potential social harm avoided through this seizure is estimated to be $22.1 million.

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