Skip to main content
Page load in progress

Man jailed for 10 years for failed drug smuggling attempt

08.30am 17 October 2022 | News

Auckland man, Eleazar Tahuriorangi, 33, has been sentenced to 10 years’ jail for attempting to smuggle 13.1 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in hydraulic jacks.

His involvement was uncovered in investigations led by the National Organised Crime Group (NCOG) after Customs identified irregularities around several imports.

Examination of a consignment of two hydraulic jacks located a white substance hidden in an internal cylinder, which testing confirmed as 80 percent pure methamphetamine weighing 13.1 kilograms. Tahuriorangi was identified as a person of interest.

Estimates indicate the smuggled shipment could have been worth more than $4.5 million in street value, produced more than 650,000 individual doses of methamphetamine and caused $14.3 million dollars in social harm.

Detective Inspector Paul Newman, of NOCG, says the operation highlights the continued success of the partnership between Police and Customs.

“This investigation commenced after good detection at the border by Customs and was another good example of Police and Customs working together to disrupt and dismantle organised crime in New Zealand,” he says.

“The actions of this criminal group preys heavily on our communities, taking money and resources away from families and disproportionately affects our youngest and most vulnerable. These criminals are motivated by greed little or no regard to the harm they are causing.

“As Police, we remain focused on detecting and disrupting these criminals, seizing the proceeds of their crimes and protecting our communities.”

Customs Investigations Manager Cam Moore agrees, adding that today’s result comes down to the fantastic work of all those involved.

“Credit goes to Customs officers who picked up discrepancies in the paperwork, and excellent work by the National Organised Crime Group who, together with Customs investigators, built the evidence to culminate in another successful prosecution."