Robber hid meth in ceiling at Auckland airport

Dinesh Manoharan in the dock during his sentencing. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Dinesh Manoharan in the dock during his sentencing. Photo / Mark Mitchell

A convicted robber who hid condoms full of methamphetamine in the ceiling of Auckland airport is due to spend an extra four years in jail.

Dinesh Manoharan - who is already serving an 11-year sentence for the home invasion of an Upper Hutt elderly couple in 2011 - was handed the sentence by Judge Ian Mill in the Wellington District Court this afternoon.

Manoharan, 37, brought the drugs into the country from a trip he made with another man to China at the end of 2008. Judge Mill said the facts in the case showed the pair had organised the trip to obtain methamphetamine.

When Manoharan returned in January 2009, he was obtained by Customs. Before he was searched, Manoharan stashed 212.5 grams of methamphetamine - contained in condoms - in the ceiling.

The packages remained hidden until last year.

At today's sentencing, Judge Mill said the amount of methamphetamine - which was linked to Manoharan through DNA testing - was considerable. He said Manoharan was not being used as a "simple drug mule" by his then-associate, whose name is currently suppressed, and that he intended to use most of the drugs for commercial purposes.

However, Judge Mill did acknowledge Manoharan was apologetic for what had happened.

A letter from Manoharan, which was read to the court by his lawyer Liz Hall, said he regretted his actions.

"It's been on my mind day and night four the last four years.

"I know I never should have done what I did and brought the drugs into New Zealand. I understand meth causes a lot of harm. I was not using my head and did not care about the consequences. I let the addiction and greed rule my life."

Manoharan's four-year sentence for the charge of importing methamphetamine is to be served on top of the prison sentence he is currently serving.

- APNZ

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