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Man jailed for importing precursors for $8M worth of 'P'

03.22pm 15 September 2016 | News

A 32-year-old man was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment in the Auckland District Court yesterday for importing over 12 kg of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, precursors to manufacture ‘P’.

Sarawood Aemort, a plasterer from Auckland, was arrested and charged after Customs intercepted a number of packages between December and January, sent from China.

The packages were declared as computer desks, a toning machine, and packaging paper but when examined Customs officers found a total of almost 12 kg of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine hidden inside.

This amount of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine has the potential to yield up to 8 kg of methamphetamine with a street value of around $8 million.

During a search warrant at Aemort’s home in January, Customs officers found a number of zip lock bags of ephedrine, a set of scales, and bags of cash totalling around $139,000.

Customs Investigations Manager, Maurice O’Brien says criminals are constantly changing the way they conceal drugs in an effort to smuggle them into the country, but these concealments were no challenge for our vigilant officers.

“We have skilled people who know how to find things that look out of the ordinary, and targeting tools in place to identify and stop consignments like these.”

“Drugs are usually hidden in legitimate goods and methods are constantly changing – but Customs continually updates its information and targeting to keep ahead.”

“This result is another good example of our systems at work to identify and prosecute those involved,” says Mr O’Brien.