8 Aug 2009

Court told of huge profits for meth importers

8:49 am on 8 August 2009

Huge profits can be made by those importing methamphetamine into New Zealand from Asia, a jury has been told.

Shane Ellis, Gavin Doar, Lele Nuuaea, Timothy Wilkie and Sara McSweeney face a range of charges, including importing methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine for supply.

The Crown says the importation of $1 million worth of methamphetamine was organised by inmates at Rimutaka Prison.

Detective Grant Fergusson told the High Court in Wellington that one shipment, containing 131 grams of methamphetamine, was made in a Nivea make-up tin.

Mr Fergusson said this amount of methamphetamine could have been obtained from Thailand for $35,000, but if sold on the street at the going rate of about $1,000 a gram, it would realise $131,000.

A witness, whose name and identifying details are suppressed, told the court on Friday she made up false names for drug parcels using details from magazines.

The woman identified papers taken from her home in a drug raid as lists she had made of drug money she had collected from people in New Zealand and sent to Thailand.

She said she was in contact with inmates at Rimutaka Prison and other people who would give her details of the drugs they wanted.

The woman said she would text those details to people in Thailand, along with false names and delivery addresses in New Zealand.