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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Czech ‘visitor’ sentenced for $20 million meth in suitcase

Date created: Wednesday, 04 October 2017

​​A 42-year-old Czech national was sentenced to 17 years’ imprisonment in the Manukau District Court today for trying to smuggle 20 kilograms of methamphetamine with a street value of up to $20 million through Auckland Airport last year.

Final sentencing for Operation Penny

Date created: Friday, 29 September 2017

A 33-year-old Chinese man was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment in the Auckland District Court this morning for his part in attempting to import 200 kilograms of ephedrine into New Zealand. 

Hong Kong man sentenced for $20 million meth in spatula sets

Date created: Friday, 29 September 2017

​A Hong Kong national who imported into New Zealand a pallet of spatula sets that contained methamphetamine or ‘P’ with an estimated street value of up to $20,000,000 was sentenced in the Auckland High Court this morning.

Seven arrested for smuggling over 100kg methamphetamine

Date created: Thursday, 28 September 2017

​A Customs and Police investigation has resulted in the arrest of seven overseas nationals for the attempted import of at least 100-120 kilograms of methamphetamine disguised as concrete inside the base of outdoor umbrella stands.

Japanese nationals jailed for ephedrine smuggling

Date created: Wednesday, 13 September 2017

​Two Japanese men, who were part of a drug-smuggling ring importing large quantities of ephedrine hidden in wooden tables, aluminium shelves and plastic cylinders, were sentenced in the Manukau District Court today.

Two Latvian passengers arrested for cocaine in suitcases

Date created: Wednesday, 06 September 2017

​​Two Latvian nationals appeared in the Manukau District Court after Customs officers located eight kilograms of cocaine hidden in their suitcases. This is Customs’ third arrest at Auckland Airport in three days.

First time visitor arrested for $2.3 million meth haul

Date created: Tuesday, 05 September 2017

​A 44-year-old first time visitor to New Zealand will swap a hotel room for a jail cell after Customs officers found 2.3kg of methamphetamine hidden in a false bottom suitcase.

Sistema joins Secure Export Scheme

Date created: Friday, 01 September 2017

​Customs and Sistema Plastics have signed a partnership under the NZ Customs Secure Export Scheme (SES), endorsing the exporter’s supply chain security standards.

Operation Azteca sentencing

Date created: Thursday, 24 August 2017

​Police and Customs note the sentencing today of two men who were charged in relation to New Zealand’s largest-ever seizure of cocaine, with an estimated street value of NZ $14 million.

​​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.