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Taiwanese man jailed for 'P'-lined suitcases

03.10pm 16 August 2016 | News

A 21-year-old Taiwanese drug courier has been sentenced to 11 years 6 months’ imprisonment for his role in attempting to smuggle meth or ‘P’ with a street value of approximately $9.5 million found hidden in the lining of suitcases.

Ting-Hsiu Chang was sentenced in the Manukau District Court after being found guilty by the jury at the end of a trial in July. His accomplice Jen-Wei Chang was sentenced to 6 years 10 months’ imprisonment in June 2016 following an early guilty plea.

In May 2015, Customs officers profiled and questioned the men upon arrival at Auckland International Airport from Taiwan. Baggage searches located around 9.5 kgs of meth hidden in the lining of four suitcases.

Customs Investigations Manager, Maurice O’Brien, says this seizure was a result of the profiling Customs conducts to identify high risk passengers, as well as the questioning and examination skills of frontline officers at Auckland Airport.

“Criminal syndicates recruit people to carry drugs through airports in exchange for money and benefits, but Customs has a pretty good idea of who and what to look out for.

“These drug couriers end up serving time, carrying a conviction for life, and bringing shame upon their families back home – the result is never worth the risk,” Mr O’Brien says.