Two women arrested for smuggling $7M meth
03.01pm 22 July 2016 | News
Two women have been arrested in Hamilton and Invercargill for attempting to smuggle multiple packages of meth or ‘P’ with a potential street value of up to $7 million.
Between February and July, Customs officers seized 11 packages sent from five countries to different names and addresses in Hamilton, Huntly and Invercargill.
Each package contained a very different type of common household good, but all hid meth adding to just over seven kilograms that Customs connected to the same criminal syndicate.
Customs with the assistance of local Police carried out simultaneous search warrants in Hamilton and Invercargill this morning, resulting in the arrest of both women. They appeared in court this afternoon, facing multiple charges for importing a class A controlled drug.
Customs Investigations Manager Maurice O’Brien says this operation shows organised crime at the grassroots level with local offenders attempting to smuggle drugs into the regions – possibly thinking they will be under the radar and have less chance of being caught.
“Criminals use a variety of ways to disguise the concealment of this insidious drug that causes so much harm to our communities. But Customs has good systems and tools in place to identify and intercept it, and the resources to link multiple shipments to those involved.
“Customs is proud of the work of our officers do in keeping these drugs from our community and playing our role in its protection. Local Police have been of great assistance throughout the investigation, which contributed to the outcome,” Mr O’Brien says.
Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Greene of Hamilton Police says this operation is another example of the continued work by Police, Customs and other agencies to crack down on and disrupt the methamphetamine supply chain.
"Methamphetamine is a significant driver of crime and it does enormous damage to families and communities. Police and our partner agencies are determined to do whatever it takes to prevent the harm and victimisation it causes."
Organised crime can include anyone. If you have suspicions about someone smuggling or selling drugs, call Customs on 0800 4 CUSTOMS, Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111, or contact your nearest Police Station.