24 Sep 2015

Restaurateur given longest ever sentence for class B drug crime

5:30 pm on 24 September 2015

An Auckland restaurant owner has been handed one of the country's longest prison sentences for drugs crime.

Hui Zhang, 45, has been sentenced in the High Court in Auckland to 20 years' jail for importing and distributing 156 kgs of pseudoephedrine - the largest haul ever prosecuted.

Pseudoephedrine (a class B drug) is the key ingredient used to make methamphetamine (a class A drug) - also known as P.

The pseudoephedrine would have had a likely street value of $95 million.

Hui Zhang's five associates Lulu Zhang, Guo Chen, Desmond Loke, Desmond Sharp and Michael Neems were also jailed for periods of between three-and-a-half years and nine-years-and-nine months for their roles in the crime.

Justice Toogood described Zhang as the prime mover of a major commercial drug operation of an unprecedented scale into New Zealand.