News stories & media releases

All our regularly updated news items and media releases are here. Customs always has a story to tell.

This description was last updated on: Thursday, 30 March 2017 .

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​​Police have seized a large quantity of psychoactive substances, including more than ten kilograms of synthetic cannabis, following nationwide raids as part of Operation Tiger.

Charges filed for breach of UN Sanctions

Date created: Wednesday, 09 August 2017

​The New Zealand Customs Service (Customs) today filed charges against Pacific Aerospace Limited for three breaches of the United Nations Sanctions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) Regulations 2006, and one charge under section 203(1)(b) of the Customs and Excise Act 1996.

Drug ring sentenced to 54 years' imprisonment

Date created: Wednesday, 09 August 2017

​​Five members of a drug ring have been sentenced in the Auckland High Court to a combined total of over 54 years’ imprisonment for importing multiple consignments of methamphetamine, GBL, MDMA and cocaine.

​Drugs with a street value of more than half a million dollars and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash were among some of the haul seized by the Waitemata Police as part of Operation Tiger.

Four jailed for liquid meth in wine bottles

Date created: Friday, 23 June 2017

​Four individuals arrested in 2015 for liquid methamphetamine hidden in wine bottles have been sentenced to lengthy jail terms.

A 29-year-old Brazilian woman was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment in the Manukau District Court, for attempting to smuggle 4.6 kilograms of cocaine in her luggage.

Kiwi man gets 5 months’ jail for meth in pocket

Date created: Friday, 09 June 2017

​​A 50-year-old New Zealand man was sentenced to five months’ imprisonment in the Wellington District Court today for bringing 1.5 grams of methamphetamine through the airport earlier this year.

Customs arrests Canadian for $4.8m meth candles

Date created: Friday, 09 June 2017

Customs investigators have arrested a 36-year-old Canadian man this afternoon for 4.8 kilograms of methamphetamine found hidden inside a consignment of candles.

New detector dogs bolster NZ and Fiji border security

Date created: Friday, 02 June 2017

​​Nine detector dog teams bound for Wellington, Auckland and Fiji have graduated from the Royal New Zealand Police College’s Dog Training Centre. The addition of three new dogs boosts the New Zealand Customs Service’s detector dog capability to 14 teams, with 10 located in Auckland and the remainder split between Wellington and Christchurch.

​​A 20-year-old Hong Kong man was sentenced to 15 years and 5 months’ imprisonment in the Auckland High Court today for importing 176 kilograms of methamphetamine, with a street value of around $176 million, which Customs seized from shipping containers last year. 

​Customs has arrested and charged three foreign nationals after locating 5 kilograms of MDMA, worth $2.1 million, hidden in the lining of their luggage. They appeared in the Christchurch District Court today.

Couple in custody for multiple meth packages

Date created: Thursday, 06 April 2017

​​A young Vietnamese couple appeared in the Auckland District Court today, facing multiple charges after Customs connected them to methamphetamine packages sent from Canada. Both remain in custody and are due to reappear in court on 2 May.

Brazilian passenger arrested for $3.2 million cocaine

Date created: Tuesday, 04 April 2017

​​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).

Completed Trade Single Window now in place

Date created: Thursday, 30 March 2017

​​The completed Trade Single Window (TSW) has been successfully deployed and is now available to the import/export industry to use.

The e-commerce platform for trade, which has been part of the Customs and Ministry for Primary Industries $104.1 million Joint Border Management System programme, will allow all border requirements for goods and craft to be met in one place instead of many.

A Hong Kong man received a sentence of 10 years and 5 months’ imprisonment today in the Auckland District court for importing two kilograms of methamphetamine, worth approximately $2 million on the street, disguised as chicken stock powder.

Coin seals patrol vessel’s good fortune

Date created: Wednesday, 22 March 2017
​​A traditional coin ceremony held with Q-West boat builders in Wanganui yesterday (21 March 2017) put Customs’ official seal on the powerhouse of its new patrol vessel Hawk V

​Four individuals are due in court in Auckland today (15 March 2017) charged with a range of offences relating to the supply of methamphetamine and the possession of equipment with intent to manufacture a controlled drug (methamphetamine).

Customs stops 1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine

Date created: Tuesday, 28 February 2017

​​Customs’ statistics show just over 413 kilograms of methamphetamine and almost 1.1 tonnes of its precursors, with a potential meth yield of up to 809 kilograms, were seized at our border in 2016. This adds up to $1.2 billion worth of meth that has been kept off New Zealand’s streets.

Tobacco fraudster jailed

Date created: Tuesday, 28 February 2017

​Company Director, Amar Raouf Shakib, was today sentenced in the Auckland District Court to three years, four months’ jail after being found guilty on 43 fraud charges, including forgery, conspiracy, defrauding the revenue of Customs and false accounting.

Customs cracks down on child exploitation

Date created: Friday, 17 February 2017
Customs’ crackdown on child exploitation has resulted in four separate arrests of passengers carrying objectionable images and New Zealanders caught online.  

Hanging up the harness - Detector Jerry retires

Date created: Thursday, 16 February 2017

​Another one of our talented detector dogs has stepped down from his role at the border this week. 

Pawsing from the frontline - Detector Dog Indy retires

Date created: Monday, 13 February 2017
After a stellar six years on the job for Customs, detector dog Indy is taking it down a notch as she heads into retirement on 13 February.

​A long-running Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation supported by the New Zealand Customs Service (NZCS), Organised Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand (OFCANZ), the Fijian Transnational Crime Unit, French Polynesian authorities and Australian Border Force (ABF) has resulted in the seizure of more than 1.4 tonnes of cocaine.

Peak passenger volumes during the holidays has not stopped Customs officers from catching drug couriers, with three arrests marking the start of 2017.