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Customs Arrests Two New Zealanders Trying To Smuggle 20kgs Of Methamphetamine

Customs has arrested two New Zealand nationals in relation to 20 kilograms of methamphetamine that was located in a black carry-on suitcase at Auckland Airport on Thursday (7 May 2020).

A 26-year-old person of interest was risk-profiled by Customs after he departed New Zealand for the USA on Saturday 2 May 2020 and returned from Los Angeles five days later.

A search of his small suitcase located 20 kilograms of methamphetamine, worth an estimated street value of around NZ$8 million. He faces life imprisonment for the importation and possession of a class A controlled drug.

Customs investigators, with the assistance of New Zealand Police, carried out several search warrants in Auckland on Thursday and Friday, resulting in the arrest of a 44-year-old man whom subsequent investigations had linked to the case. He faces a charge for the importation of a class A controlled drug.

Customs Investigations Manager Bruce Berry says this is a good example of brazen behaviour by some criminal syndicates trying to take advantage of the COVID-19 situation to undertake their illicit trade.

“This should serve as a warning – Customs has continued its efforts to risk assess all passengers, cargo and craft as we would under normal circumstances. We know that organised criminal groups are very agile in adapting their smuggling efforts to try and take advantage of any situation, but we remain as vigilant as ever as this seizure shows.”

If you have suspicions about someone involved in drug smuggling, call either 0800 4 CUSTOMS (0800 428 786) in confidence, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously.

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