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Meth supplier in Bangkok arrested

02.11pm 07 March 2016 | News

A joint investigation by New Zealand and Thai authorities has culminated in the arrest of a major drugs supplier who was sending meth from Thailand to New Zealand.

NZ Customs and NZ Police, and their liaison officers based in Bangkok, worked closely with the Office of the Narcotic Control Board, the Police Narcotic Suppression Bureau, and the Thailand Customs Department to identify this major drug supplier who was arrested at the end of last month.

During 2015, NZ Customs and Police conducted two joint investigations involving multiple seizures of methamphetamine couriered from Thailand, which led to the arrest of five New Zealanders.

The drugs had been sent to different addresses and concealed using a range of methods including clutch purses, a flower vase, and car shock absorbers. Thai authorities also stopped a number of packages containing methamphetamine in Bangkok that were destined for Auckland.

NZ Customs Investigations Manager Maurice O’Brien says the arrest in Bangkok is a great win for both countries, and an excellent example of the shared commitment of international agencies to tackling the methamphetamine trade at both the importer and supplier ends.

“This is the result of focussed efforts behind the scenes over a long period of time. We worked together from the outset, with the shared goal of cracking down on the entire supply chain to halt the trade.

“The benefit of having NZ liaison officers on the ground in key locations like Bangkok working with local enforcement agencies is invaluable in protecting each other’s borders. This operation is evidence of the key role they play,” Mr O’Brien says.

“Methamphetamine is a significant driver of crime in New Zealand. It ruins lives, destroys families and does enormous damage to our communities,” says Superintendent Sue Schwalger, Acting Assistant Commissioner Security and International, NZ Police.

“Police continue to work hard, nationally and internationally alongside agencies like Customs, to disrupt the supply chain and reduce the harms caused by methamphetamine.”

“Enforcement at the border and domestically is ongoing, and there will be no let-up in our targeting of the manufacturers and suppliers of methamphetamine – as these arrests show.”