Customs has arrested two Czech Republic nationals at Auckland Airport for allegedly attempting to smuggle about 20 kilograms of methamphetamine or 'P' with an estimated street value of around $20 million. This is the largest ever meth seizure at a New Zealand airport.
They arrived on a flight from Bangkok yesterday afternoon and were identified and questioned by Customs officers. A luggage examination revealed the meth hidden within a concealment at the bottom of their two suitcases.
Both are currently in custody and will appear in the Manukau District Court this afternoon charged with importing a class A controlled drug. In New Zealand, this carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Customs group manager of Intelligence, Investigations Enforcement, Jamie Bamford, says those criminal syndicates seeking to bring drugs into New Zealand will continue to be identified and prosecuted by Customs and partner agencies.
"We have sophisticated capabilities that are continually proving to work and deliver successes such as these. This seizure is a fantastic example of Customs intelligence-led approach to risk management at the border and excellent work by our frontline officers."
"Yesterday's seizure has prevented a significant amount of social harm to our communities, which is estimated at almost $25 million."