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Customs makes two arrests for alleged Auckland Airport backpack drug smuggling

02.50pm 18 November 2022 | News

Customs has arrested two airport baggage handlers in connection with an attempt to smuggle 4.6 kilograms of methamphetamine through Auckland International Airport.

The men, aged 23 and 19, are scheduled to appear in the Manukau District Court on Monday 21 November 2022. They are jointly charged with importing methamphetamine.

The drugs were allegedly located in a backpack, which had arrived on Air New Zealand flight NZ5 from Los Angeles on 11 November 2022. The two men were employed as baggage handlers at the airport.

The 4.6 kilograms of methamphetamine recovered from the backpack could produce around 230,000 common doses of smoked methamphetamine with a total street value of up to $870,000.

Customs Investigations Manager, Cam Moore, says the seizure and arrests are a warning about the risks faced from people willing to abuse the trust and access they’re given to work at our border.

“We know this risk exists and we are always watching out for the signs.

“We also need everyone else to watch out and help to protect Aotearoa New Zealand by noticing and reporting suspicious behaviour to Customs confidentially - whether it’s something unusual at an airport, or in the freight and maritime environments,” Mr Moore said.

To find out more about what to look out for visit:

If you know or suspect someone may be involved in illegal activity, call Customs on 0800 WE PROTECT (0800 937 768) a 24-hour confidential hotline, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Meth discovered in backpack