A Brazilian woman is spending her 29th birthday in New Zealand prison today, after Customs arrested her at Auckland Airport on Sunday for 4.6 kilograms cocaine smuggled in her luggage. She is due to appear in the Manukau District Court on Friday (7 April).
The woman arrived on a flight from Brazil via Chile on Sunday morning (2 April), and was questioned and searched by Customs officers. X-rays showed inconsistencies in her bags which, when drilled, showed traces of cocaine. The 4.6-kilogram total extracted has the potential street value of up to $3.2 million in New Zealand.
Customs Investigations Manager Bruce Berry says Customs used intelligence to identify the woman as a high-risk passenger, and further questioning and a search by frontline officers at the airport clearly indicated that something was not right.
“Customs’ work is led by intelligence and we do extensive screening to identify those that may pose a risk – so we have a really good idea of whom we want to take a closer look at.
“Customs’ profiling works across the different types of drug commodities and risk countries, whatever they are. This seizure is yet another example of a significant amount of harmful drugs that has been kept off New Zealand’s streets.”
Image: One of the suitcases that hid the 4.6kg total of cocaine.