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Brazilian jailed for carrying cocaine

11.02am 19 March 2018 | News

A Brazilian man was sentenced in the Manukau District Court to eight years and six months in prison for carrying 2.6 kg of cocaine, worth up to $1.8 M, through Auckland Airport last year.

Marlon Batista de Macedo, 33, came to the attention of Customs officers carrying out pre-screening of passengers prior to the arrival of his flight into New Zealand from Dubai on 12 September 2017.

When Customs officers examined the contents of his Samsonite suitcase, they found inconsistencies. A closer look found approximately 2.6 kg of cocaine concealed behind the plastic backing of the suitcase. The man denied any knowledge of the cocaine and said he agreed to carry the bag so he could get free travel to New Zealand.

Customs Manager Passenger Operations at Auckland Airport Peter Lewis says criminal syndicates will target willing individuals to get their drugs delivered into foreign countries, without caring for their wellbeing or the repercussions they face.

"Customs' role is to stop drugs from coming into the country and harming our communities. This man will now spend eight and a half years in our prison, away from family living overseas and carry a criminal conviction, which will have an effect on future career opportunities – the consequences are never worth the risk."

If you have suspicions that someone may be getting enticed or duped by criminal syndicates into drug smuggling here or overseas, call 0800 4 CUSTOMS.