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Man jailed for 15 years for smuggling $176M meth

10.19am 09 May 2017 | News

A 20-year-old Hong Kong man was sentenced to 15 years and 5 months’ imprisonment in the Auckland High Court today for importing 176 kg of meth, with a street value of around $176 million, which Customs seized from shipping containers last year.

Kai Yip Cheung was arrested in October 2016 following a 16-month Customs investigation into a company believed to have been set up to smuggle methamphetamine. Customs intercepted 10 shipping containers sent from China in July 2016, and detailed examination located various types of packages containing meth hidden inside the containers’ doors.

Customs Group Manager Intelligence, Investigations & Enforcement Jamie Bamford says this investigation is a great example of Customs’ use of intelligence to identify risk companies, suspects, and potential drug shipments before they arrive into the country.

“This investigation required solid intelligence work, close collaboration with counterparts in Hong Kong and China, and extensive examination to extract the meth that had been concealed in a very sophisticated way.

“Criminal syndicates will continue to try to smuggle drugs into the country as long as they can source drugs cheaply overseas and make a profit. This is a global issue and Customs will continue to do everything possible to disrupt drug smuggling,” Mr Bamford says.