Huge drug haul in Customs operation

80 kg of Class C analogues.
80 kg of Class C analogues.

Drugs worth tens of millions of dollars have been kept off the streets as a result of a seven-month Customs Department operation targeting psychoactive substances, Customs Minister Maurice Williamson says.

A total of 379 suspected psychoactive substances totalling more than 500kg were intercepted during Operation Static which ended this month, Mr Williamson said.

This included Class A, B and C drugs, controlled medicines and a range of synthetic cannabinoids and analogues.

"There was a total of 80 kilograms of Class C analogues seized, including 18 kilograms of ecstasy mimic methylone, and these drugs have a street value of $21 million.

"The harm prevented from keeping these analogues away from communities has been calculated at $32 million," Mr Williamson said.

Officials have arrested 11 people as a result of the operation.

"If people want to chance their arm on importing illegal drugs then they can expect to be caught. I hope this successful Customs operation sends a clear warning to any would-be importers," Mr Williamson said.

Drug harm is defined as the total social costs from harmful drug use, including crime, lost output, health service use and other diverted resources, such as Customs and police time.

- APNZ

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