Auckland man jailed for heroin possession

Muhammad Azim (3 News)
Muhammad Azim (3 News)

A 54-year-old Auckland man has been jailed for at least four years after being found guilty of possessing heroin to supply.

Muhammad Azim was arrested in 2014 when more than $6 million worth of drugs were seized during multiple raids in Melbourne. 

Azim appeared in the Auckland District Court this afternoon where he was sentenced to eight years in prison, with a four-year non-parole period, on a charge of possessing a class A drug.

A charge of importing heroin into the country was dropped.

Crown Prosecutor Thomas Refoy-Butler said the heroin the man was found with was one of the largest amounts in New Zealand in 30 years.

"In other words, it's at the top end of the scale," he said.

He had argued for a sentence of 15 to 17 years in jail.

Police say the drugs seized were from a longstanding international organised crime syndicate which targeted Australia and New Zealand with heroin.

More than 10 kilograms of heroin, 7.5kg of ecstasy and a smaller quantity of cocaine was found and police said the seizure had a street value of up to $6 million.

Fifteen properties in Melbourne were raided including one in Auckland, with six arrests made in total.

The investigation started in Melbourne in August last year, and moved to Auckland when police realised New Zealand was being used as a transit point.

At the time New Zealand Police Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess said it was fantastic to see a number of law enforcement agencies working so closely together on a major international syndicate.