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More Customs Staff Now Investigating Precursors

More Customs staff now investigating drugs and methamphetamine precursor trafficking

"We need to hasten progress on combating methamphetamine," Customs Minister Rick Barker said today at a function in Auckland to welcome 11 staff that have transferred to Customs' border drugs investigation unit and congratulate others responsible for a number of significant drug and precursor seizures.

Mr Barker said today that he had asked Customs to go through the government's Methamphetamine Action Plan, launched by Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton, to see what could be done to fast track its recommendations.

"The Methamphetamine Action Plan has 19 different action points and recommendations and I want to see what Customs can do to ensure we action those as quickly as possible.

"I want to ensure that the legislative framework assists and doesn't get in the way of Customs work.

"Having spoken with Jim Anderton, I am suggesting my Cabinet colleagues on the Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy also look to see what they can do to accelerate progress.

"In the last few weeks Customs has made a number of major interceptions, including 7kgs of cocaine destined for the Australian market. There have also been several seizures of methamphetamine and precursors."

Mr Barker told Customs officers that their work was of great benefit to the community.

"The cost to New Zealanders of P is significant. It is an insidious drug. It is causing abuse of children and partners and is widely regarded as an active ingredient in several murders.

"The more drugs and precursors we can stop at the border, the better it is for everyone."

ENDS

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