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Chinese national arrested for importing multiple drug packages

03.18pm 09 March 2020 | News

A Chinese national appeared in court today for the importation of MDMA, ephedrine and methamphetamine.

A 27-year-old Chinese national has appeared in the Manukau District Court today, after he was linked to the importation of at least 17 packages, which in total contained around 46 kilograms of MDMA (also known as ecstasy), six kilograms of ephedrine, and one kilogram of methamphetamine. 

The man was arrested by Customs investigators last Friday, and currently faces 16 charges of importing a class B controlled drug and one charge of importing a class A controlled drug. He is known to be using false identities to facilitate the smuggling, and further charges are likely.

A Customs investigation into MDMA seizures connected the man to several drugs packages that were seized by frontline officers between July 2019 and February 2020.

These packages destined for east Auckland had been sent through the mail or air freight from various countries across Europe. The drugs were hidden in an assortment of everyday items such as LED lights, clothing, ornaments, toys, cosmetics, and thermos flasks.

Customs executed several search warrants in Auckland on Friday, which led to the man’s arrest at an east Auckland residential address later that day.

Customs Investigations Manager Bruce Berry says Customs has seen an unprecedented rise in MDMA seizures at our border, with a record 738 kilograms intercepted in 2019, and 112 kilograms seized in the first two months of 2020 already. This compared with 94 kilograms of MDMA seized at the border in all of 2018.

“While methamphetamine remains the main type of drug seized at our border and Customs’ focus, we equally maintain an interest in catching those involved in smuggling MDMA. We believe the man arrested had played a significant role in MDMA smuggling and distribution.”

If you have suspicions about someone involved in drug smuggling, call either 0800 4 CUSTOMS (0800 428 786) in confidence, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously.