Press Release – New Zealand Customs Service
Canadian ‘visitor’ arrested for 18kg meth in toner cartridges
A Canadian passport holder, who arrived in New Zealand two months ago, has appeared in the Manukau District Court today, following the seizure of 18kg of methamphetamine found hidden in a consignment of printer toner cartridges.
The 28-year-old man is charged with the importation and possession for supply of a class A controlled drug, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. He has been remanded in custody and is scheduled to reappear in court on 4 April 2018.
On 15 March 2018, Customs officers examined a consignment declared as ‘toners’ sent via international mail from the USA, and located methamphetamine hidden inside a dozen printer cartridges. This amount has a potential street value of between $6.3 – $21.6 million.
Customs investigators arrested the man at a South-East Auckland residence yesterday evening, where further evidence of his involvement in the importation was found.
Customs Acting Investigations Manager Michael Blades says this operation highlights one tactic that criminal syndicates use to smuggle illicit drugs into the country, but Customs’ work at the border joins the dots that connect these ‘visitors’ to drug shipments.
“This is another example of a foreign national renting a room from unsuspecting people for a short period of time to receive illegal packages.
“While Customs actively profiles and targets the activities of criminal syndicates at the border, it is important communities in New Zealand are also aware of their methods, so people don’t become unwittingly involved. Members of the public can confidentially report anything they are suspicious of by calling 0800 4 CUSTOMS.”
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