Police bust meth smuggling group in NZ, Fiji

New Zealand Customs officers found methamphetamine hidden inside a hot dog grill.
New Zealand Customs officers found methamphetamine hidden inside a hot dog grill. Photo credit: Police.

New Zealand and Fijian police have busted a group allegedly involved in smuggling methamphetamine from the US into New Zealand.

Last week, police from both countries made a number of arrests in what's been named 'operation Nova."

The investigation began in December 2018 after New Zealand customs found 5kg of methamphetamine inside a "cooking appliance".

Through the investigation, NZ police found an additional 6kg of the drug in cooking appliances, including hidden under a panel in a hot dog grill.

Police said the overall value of the 11kg seized was $5.5 million.

Police bust meth smuggling group in NZ, Fiji
Photo credit: Police.

Detective Inspector Paul Newman from the National Organised Crime Group said a "small syndicate was linked to the alleged imports".

Four men were arrested in New Zealand on money laundering and drug charges - a 50-year-old New Zealand national, a 33-year-old Chinese national, a 60-year-old Canadian national and a 19-year-old US national.

They appeared in the Auckland District Court on February 13.

Fijian police have also detained people linked to the group and at one address seized 39kg of cocaine with a street value of around NZ$19.5 million.

"It is well understood that these illicit drugs are the cause of significant social harm to our communities," said Detective Inspector Newman.

He said the potential cost of the community harm of the seized drugs was over $60 million.

Newshub.

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