The international trade of making methamphetamine in Mexico and sending it to New Zealand is showing no signs of slowing, an international drug smuggler who works with the infamous Sinaloa Cartel says.
The Sinaloa Cartel is one of the world's most powerful drug trafficking syndicates and has a reputation for getting what they want, either with bribes or bullets. Its boss is the notorious billionaire kingpin El Chapo, who is now behind bars.
With drugs entering New Zealand from all over the world, Patrick Gower set out to find how much profit was in it for international criminal networks, as part of his documentary Patrick Gower: On P. After months of negotiations, he got access to someone who works for the Sinaloa Cartel.
The anonymous person is in charge of packing and sending meth from the Mexican city of Culiacán in Sinaloa Province.
On a table behind them are about 4kg of meth, they say. Two bags together weighing 1kg are worth 20,000 pesos (NZ$1408).
They say the Sinaloa Cartel has contacts in New Zealand to whom they can send meth, but they are "forbidden" from saying their names.
An international drug smuggler who works with the Sinaloa Cartel says he sends "crystal, meth, and ice" to New Zealand and Australia. It's produced in laboratories in the mountains of Sinaloa.
"We arrange some suitcases with some travellers. We have the boarding to the plane arranged, and also the connection that happens in the city of Los Angeles, we send it by plane," he explains.
"That's how we take it into Australia and New Zealand."
There is one person in New Zealand who works for them and they are told what to do, he says.
Around 12kg of meth gets into New Zealand each month.
"We cannot work with big volumes anymore, because last year we sent more than a tonne in a ship inside some electronic devices. They were seized, and so we decided to send less, but securely," he says.
He adds New Zealanders are the "best-paying customers" - the Sinaloa Cartel can sell 1kg of meth for around US$75,000 to US$80,000 (NZ$105,000 to NZ$112,000).
There are no signs of the meth-making and distribution trade slowing.
"Look, this business is growing more and more, everywhere. Because at the end of the day, yes, there are more people consuming the product. This will keep growing, it won't stop," he says.
Watch Patrick Gower: On P on ThreeNow.