14 Nov 2009

Police seize major methamphetamine haul

8:37 pm on 14 November 2009

New Zealand authorities say they believe they've disrupted a major international drug syndicate, after seizing up to $6 million worth of methamphetamine being smuggled into the country.

They say it is the biggest methamphetamine seizure this year.

The comptroller of the Customs Service, Martyn Dunne, says the interception is the result of meticulous international intelligence gathering which has disrupted a major importing operation.

Six people have appeared in Auckland District Court charged with possession and importation of the class A drug, also known as "P".

The arrests came after a joint Police and Customs operation found about 6kg of the drug at Auckland Airport, allegedly on four Japanese arrivals.

It's believed customs officers found the drug in the linings of suitcases.

Detective Senior Sergeant Stu Allsop-Smith says two Japanese nationals, a 31-year-old woman and a 39-year-old male, were intercepted at the airport on Tuesday after arriving from Malaysia.

He says two other Japanese nationals, men aged 41 and 50, also arriving from Malaysia, were intercepted the following day.

He says two New Zealand males were also arrested, allegedly as they were in the process of taking possession of the drug in a controlled police operation.

All but one of the six have been remanded in custody and are due back in court on 2-3 December.