Two men have been arrested after a two-week joint Police and Customs operation in Christchurch.
Fourty-nine kilograms of methamphetamine was seized after the drugs arrived into Christchurch in an airfreight consignment sent from Mexico on November 1.
Detailed examination located the methamphetamine concealed within the shipment of safety lights.
It consisted of 40 separate packages of around 1 to 1.2kg each, which has yet to be further forensically examined to determine the exact weight of the product.
This amount of the drug had a potential street value of $50 million, and the seizure has prevented $60.71 million of additional community harm.
Search warrants were executed at a number of addresses in Christchurch and in Auckland as a result of the largest-ever seizure of methamphetamine in the South Island.
Two Christchurch men aged 25 and 31 have been arrested and appeared in Christchurch District Court today on charges of importing a Class A drug, and possession of methamphetamine for supply.
They have both been remanded in custody to reappear in Christchurch on November 20.
Detective Inspector Corrie Parnell, District Manager Criminal Investigations, says this is a significant result for Police and Customs staff, and will go a long way to help keep our communities safe.
“These drugs, should they have made it to the streets, would have caused significant harm to people and communities, not just in Canterbury, but across the country,” he says.
“Methamphetamine is a destructive drug that wrecks lives, breaks down whanau and negatively impacts on our community.
It takes enforcement and a whole-of-Government approach, along with education to reduce demand and victimisation caused by this drug.”
Detective Inspector Parnell says drug use is a driver of numerous other crimes.
“Unfortunately the demand for illegal drugs is fed by those who are addicted, and interventions are required in order to help these people limit the harm they are causing to themselves and others.”
Alongside bringing offenders to account with investigations and prosecutions, Police are working with partner agencies to provide rehabilitation for those with drug addictions.
Customs Manager Central and Southern Ports Joe Cannon says this operation shows the close-knit relationship between Customs and Police, as both agencies work together to disrupt meth supply in the communities and regions.
“This seizure was the result of risk-profiling and targeting work that Customs carries out for all goods, people and craft coming into New Zealand – whatever the region or method of import.
We maintain a national perspective to protect our border, and will do everything possible to keep this hideous drug away from our communities.”
If you have concerns about any person who is using or abusing drugs, please contact the Drug Alcohol Helpline on 0800 787 797 or visit www.alcoholdrughelp.org.nz for information and support.