Teen arrested for importing, ordering drugs online

File Photo / APN
File Photo / APN

A 19-year-old Palmerston North student has been arrested for importing ecstasy and cocaine after allegedly ordering the drugs online.

The arrest was made today following a joint Customs and Police operation.

Police said the drugs intercepted have an estimated street value of between $14,000 and $28,000.

They allege the man was sent several packages containing large quantities of MDMA tablets, commonly known as ecstasy.

One from Germany contained about 560 tablets of the Class B controlled drug, and another parcel, intercepted by Customs, contained about 570 tablets.

Three smaller parcels containing cocaine, LSD and MDMA were also intercepted.

"Police and Customs officers executed a search warrant at the man's residential address this afternoon and we believe that he has been importing these drugs for the purpose of supply," said Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Sheridan, officer in charge of Palmerston North CIB.

"Our joint work with Customs is vital in preventing and reducing crime and I want to reassure the public that we are committed to maintaining safer communities. We will continue to use every tool and piece of legislation we have available to us to come down hard on those who peddle drugs," Mr Sheridan said.

Customs acting group manager of investigations and response Shane Panettiere said packages containing small amounts of illicit drugs were increasingly linked to illegal overseas-based trading websites, such as Silk Road.

"Today's arrest is a great example of our collaborative work with Police to detect such packages and link them to the people involved. It serves as a warning to anyone who thinks they can buy illegal drugs online and get away with it.

"Customs officers at the International Mail Centre are well aware of what to look for and will intercept illicit goods being mailed to New Zealand.

"Buying online doesn't mean that you are exempt from the law, offenders will be apprehended and prosecuted."

The maximum sentence for importing a Class B drug is 14 years, while the maximum sentence for importing Class A drugs is life imprisonment.

The man will appear in the Palmerston North District Court tomorrow charged with importing Class A and B controlled drugs.

Police said the investigation was ongoing and more charges were likely.

- APNZ

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