Jail term for drug trafficker

Press Release – New Zealand Customs Service

Jail term for drug trafficker

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A 38 year-old Singaporean drug trafficker was sentenced to four years and one month in prison today in Manukau District Court for importing nearly 50 grams of methamphetamine with a street value of between $30,000 and $50,000.

Asharafudin Bin Mohd Ali was arrested by Customs officers at Auckland International Airport on 5 August 2013 after a search revealed a crystalline substance hidden in his luggage

He claimed that the substance, which was wrapped in black insulation tape and hidden in the bottom of his bag, was salt. However, drug testing confirmed it was methamphetamine, a class A controlled drug.

Manager Investigations, Maurice O’Brien says stopping drugs crossing our border is a priority for Customs and our officers carefully profile people and goods looking for indicators to ascertain the presence of drugs.

Customs officers were alerted when Mohd Ali claimed that he was visiting New Zealand for a 10 day holiday but then suspiciously pleaded to be allowed in the country for two or three days.

“The experience of our vigilant officers has again proven successful in stopping harmful drugs from getting into our communities”, says Mr O’Brien. “Our people are alert and trained to identify suspicious behaviours”.

On questioning Mohd Ali admitted to having previously served a ten year prison sentence in Singapore for drug trafficking. He also stated that he had been a drug dealer in Singapore, purchasing larger quantities of ‘amphetamine’ and breaking it into smaller quantities for re-sale.

Customs continues to focus its efforts to break the methamphetamine and precursor supply chain at the border, working alongside other agencies to support the Government’s Methamphetamine Action Plan.

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