18 May 2011

Customs seize large amount of rare drug

9:26 pm on 18 May 2011

The Customs Service has intercepted a large amount of a drug previously uncommon in New Zealand.

Customs has seized 18kg of dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a similar hallucinogen to LSD, after discovering it in mail.

Police have arrested a 21-year-old man in Blenheim and charged him with importing a class A drug.

Customs' manager of investigations Shane Panettiere says they are not sure of its street value. The drug has been intercepted before, but only in very small amounts.

It is one of five seizures by Customs in May to date.

A 34-year-old New Zealand man has been arrested after Customs found a class B date rape drug hidden in nail polish bottles in two packages from the United States.

Officers also intercepted two packages from Britain and Thailand declared as herbal powder scrub but actually containing ephedrine, which is used to make methamphetamine, also known as 'P'.

That led to a 39-year-old man being arrested in Whangarei.

In the other seizure, a Christchurch man was caught returning from Thailand with drugs in his shoes, and his companion with more in her luggage.