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.
Between January and March 2017, Customs officers found meth inside a home drinking water system, and within packaging of two consignments of alloy wheel trims. In total, the three packages hid 11.6 kilograms meth with a potential street value of up to $11.6 million.
Although the packages had different names and addresses of Auckland inner-city apartments, Customs’ investigation linked them to the 23-year-old Vietnamese man and 25-year-old Vietnamese woman living in one of the apartments.
The couple were arrested after Customs searched their apartment last Friday (31 March), where a further 900 grams of meth, 800 grams of cannabis, $13,000 cash, used zip-lock bags, an electronic scale, and a meth pipe were located. Several electronic devices were also uplifted for evidential examination and two cars restrained.
Customs Investigations Manager Bruce Berry says criminals keep trying different tactics for smuggling drugs into the country, but Customs keeps track of the tricks they try to use.
“This four-month operation is a great example of how Customs uses intelligence to link several shipments to the same criminal syndicate and hold them accountable. This serves as a warning to those who think smuggling is a lucrative business – it’s not worth the risk.”
Images: One consignment hid 3.8kg of meth in a home drinking water system.