29 Sep 2017

$120m meth haul breaks sophisticated operation

From Morning Report, 7:54 am on 29 September 2017

Customs says a sophisticated criminal operation was behind the failed importation of more than 100kg of methamphetamine in umbrella stands.

The drug was mixed with the powdery mineral gypsum inside the concrete stands in a shipment from China. Police have charged seven people, all from Hong Kong and China, with importation and possession for supply of a Class A controlled drug.

Investigation manager for New Zealand Customs Bruce Berry tells us it's showing the increased complexity they're facing at the border.

"These umbrella stands were encased in a steel case that was concrete layered, and in the middle was gypsum material that was mixed with the methamphetamine, so there was an extraction process required to get the drug out," he tells us.