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: Friday, 22 July 2016 .

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

Savvy sniffers boost protection at NZ border and prisons

Date created: Thursday, 08 December 2016

​For Corrections, this course was the first to use a new dog training area at the National Learning Centre, as well as facilities at the Police Dog Training Centre.

Advice to travellers – medicinal cannabis

Date created: Wednesday, 07 December 2016

​The Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Customs Service are providing updated information which may be of interest to travellers arriving from the United States. This information will impact on travellers possessing cannabis-based products which have been supplied in the United States, and are intended for medical use.

Team established to pinpoint border risk

Date created: Monday, 05 December 2016

​​New intelligence tools will help Customs catch more methamphetamine smugglers and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) keep biosecurity pests offshore.

​A 20-year-old Hong Kong national appeared in the Auckland District Court this morning on a charge relating to his role in attempting to smuggle an estimated 176 kilograms of methamphetamine, with a potential street value of $176 million, into New Zealand.

​A 26-year-old Canadian man has been arrested at Auckland International Airport today and charged in relation to the importation of $8 million worth of ‘P’.

​Counties Manukau Police have arrested and charged three people for importing methamphetamine following a joint operation with Customs.

Man jailed for importing precursors for $8M worth of 'P'

Date created: Thursday, 15 September 2016

​A 32-year-old man was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment in the Auckland District Court yesterday for importing over 12 kilograms of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, precursors to manufacture ‘P’.

Latvian traveller jailed for smuggling P in baby carriers

Date created: Wednesday, 14 September 2016
​A 20-year-old Latvian man was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for importing and possessing methamphetamine or ‘P’ in his suitcase. 

Visitor jailed for $1.9 million precursor packages

Date created: Friday, 09 September 2016

​A 31-year-old Chinese man has been sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for attempting to import multiple packages of ephedrine - a precursor to methamphetamine - hidden in hand warmers, ashtrays and belts.

Taiwanese man jailed for 'P'-lined suitcases

Date created: Tuesday, 16 August 2016

​A 21-year-old Taiwanese drug courier has been sentenced to 11 years 6 months’ imprisonment for his role in attempting to smuggle methamphetamine or ‘P’ with a street value of approximately $9.5 million found hidden in the lining of suitcases.

Woman jailed for $1 million ‘P’ in pork cans

Date created: Monday, 08 August 2016

​A Hong Kong woman was today sentenced to nine years and three months’ imprisonment for smuggling $1 million worth of methamphetamine or ‘P’ mailed to her in pork cans.

HK man arrested for $20 million meth in spatula sets

Date created: Tuesday, 02 August 2016

​Customs arrested a Hong Kong national last night in relation to a pallet of spatula sets that contained methamphetamine or ‘P’ with an estimated street value of up to $20 million.

​​Two women have been arrested in Hamilton and Invercargill for attempting to smuggle multiple packages of methamphetamine or ‘P’ with a potential street value of up to $7 million.  

​Trusted Trans-Tasman exporters will be rewarded with fast-tracked customs processing at Australian and New Zealand borders under a new arrangement between the two countries.

Half tonne of drugs now worthless

Date created: Friday, 15 July 2016

​Customs has made hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of drugs undesirable, worthless, and irretrievable after a planned destruction this week. Methamphetamine and its precursors made up the bulk volume at 231 kilograms, with a total potential street value of up to $177 million.

​An Australian man living in New Zealand was sentenced to 6 years and 10 months’ imprisonment in the Wellington District Court for importing 1.46 kilograms of methamphetamine.

​Customs has seized a shipment of 4000 handbags hiding 30 kilograms of methamphetamine or ‘P’ inside small silica gel sachets, worth an estimated street value of $30 million.

Largest ever cocaine seizure

Date created: Monday, 04 July 2016

​A joint Customs and Police investigation has resulted in the largest-ever seizure of cocaine in New Zealand, worth an estimated street value of $14 million NZ dollars.

​​Joint effort by trans-Tasman authorities has resulted in the arrest of a 60-year-old man at Auckland International Airport on Sunday night, after 2kg of methamphetamine or ‘P’ with a street value of around NZ $2million was found in his luggage.  

Oamaru man arrested for importing ‘P’

Date created: Monday, 23 May 2016

A 22-year-old Oamaru man has been arrested and charged with drug offences after Customs stopped a package containing 102 grams of methamphetamine.

$20 million meth seizure at Auckland Airport

Date created: Friday, 13 May 2016

Customs has arrested two Czech Republic nationals at Auckland Airport for attempting to smuggle about 20 kilograms of methamphetamine or ‘P’ with an estimated street value of around $20 million. This is the largest ever meth seizure at a New Zealand airport.

Customs destroys half tonne of illicit drugs

Date created: Thursday, 28 April 2016

​Customs has destroyed almost half a tonne of illicit drugs, including around $4 million worth of methamphetamine and 221 kg of precursors that could have produced up to 62 kg of methamphetamine with a street value of up to $62 million.

​A 20-year-old Latvian man has appeared in the Manukau District Court this afternoon, charged with importing approximately 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine or ‘P’ found hidden in his luggage.

Public confidence in Customs high

Date created: Tuesday, 08 March 2016

​​New Zealand Customs has been rated highly by the public in the inaugural Colmar Brunton Public Sector Reputation Index, particularly on trustworthiness, responsible use of taxpayer money, and providing effective services.