22 Aug 2014

MDMA smuggler gets five years added

4:00 pm on 22 August 2014

The mastermind behind an international drug ring has had five years added to his prison sentence.

Last November, Rokas Karpavicius was sentenced to six years and three months for money laundering and smuggling LSD inside a Harry Potter book as part of an international drug operation.

Today, he was back at the High Court in Auckland after being convicted of importing a large amount of ecstasy inside granite statues.

Justice Ellis sentenced him to five years for each of the two charges, with the terms running concurrently.

Justice Ellis described Karpavicius as the man who pulled the strings in the international drug operation.

She said cash couriers were used to take $2 million out of New Zealand and a further $500,000 in cash was found in a bank deposit box.

Justice Ellis said the damage Karpavicius had done to the community can not be estimated.

In sentencing, she took nine months off his sentence to reflect the fact he had been extradited from Latvia and was a long way from his home and family.

Old charges dropped

Karpavicius had other drugs charges against him dropped after he fled the country over 10 years ago.

Court documents show Karpavicius had been charged in 2001 with conspiracy to import classes A and B drugs, which allegedly happened in the late 1990s.

While on bail, he fled New Zealand, and was found in Latvia in 2011.

But the charges were dropped on his return, because police and prosecutors said there would be practical and evidential difficulties resurrecting the prosecution.

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