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Customs seizes 110 kg of methamphetamine and handguns

12.44pm 25 February 2019 | News

Two men are scheduled to appear in the Auckland District Court after attempting to smuggle 110 kg of methamphetamine and two handguns into New Zealand inside golf cart batteries.

The 39-year-old Taiwanese national and a 27-year-old Chinese national were arrested by Customs investigators over the weekend and face charges for the importation and possession of a class A controlled drug. Based on the NZ Drug Harm Index, this seizure has prevented up to an estimated $136.3 M of social harm to New Zealand communities.

In January 2019, Customs officers inspected a shipping container of three six-seater golf carts, exported from the United States of America. Close examination revealed the batteries hid large, ice-like methamphetamine crystals and two handguns.

Customs with the support of Police carried out further investigations, and search warrants at residential addresses in West and South Auckland over the weekend led to the two arrests.

Customs Investigations Manager Bruce Berry says this operation was the direct result of some very good intelligence and inspections work by Customs staff .

“The presence of loaded firearms concealed with the drugs is a very real concern and shows the lengths organised crime groups are prepared to go to. It also represents a changing risk profile to both our officers and the community at large.

“Customs is committed to targeting and stopping smuggling attempts like this one, and the criminal syndicates responsible for trying to bring illicit drugs into our country with no concern for the devastating harm it causes,” Mr Berry says.

Detective Inspector Paul Newman from the National Organised Crime Group says Police have been working with Customs to bring this operation to a successful conclusion. “It’s another excellent example of the two agencies’ collaboration and our focus to prevent the harm caused by drugs such as methamphetamine.”

“These illegal drugs are destructive and have no place in our communities. We know they cause negative health implications, financial and social harm to users and their families. We are focused on and dedicated to disrupting the production, smuggling and distribution of methamphetamine, and we think this is a great result,” Detective Inspector Newman says.