10 Nov 2013

Criminals invent new methods to smuggle drugs into NZ

5:59 pm on 10 November 2013

Customs says criminals are trying new and creative methods to smuggle drugs into the country, especially the main ingredient used to make methamphetamine.

The department's manager of investigations Shane Panettiere says October was particularly busy, with Customs seizing more than 29 kilograms of the ingredient Contac NT.

Shane Panettiere says that would have produced more than $8.3 million worth of methamphetamine.

He says in one incident around 2kg of Contac NT was extracted from car cushions which would have produced around $620,000 worth of methamphetamine.

Mr Panettiere says Contac NT is sourced from China and criminals are trying to get it past Customs by concealing it in vacuum cleaners, lint rollers and even lollipops.

He says many of the drug concealments are done by large criminal syndicates or gangs.