New Zealand and Thai authorities have worked together to bring down an alleged major methamphetamine supplier.
Police and the New Zealand Customs staff announced this afternoon the alleged major supplier of the drug to New Zealand was arrested at the end of last month.
The arrest follows an investigation that also involved police and Customs liaison officers based in Bangkok, and Thai authorities, including the Office of the Narcotic Control Board, the Police Narcotic Suppression Bureau, and the Thailand Customs Department.
Last year, police and New Zealand Customs led two joint investigations involving multiple seizures of methamphetamine couriered from Thailand, and which led to the arrest of five Kiwis.
"The drugs had been sent to different addresses and concealed using a range of methods including clutch purses, a flower vase, and car shock absorbers. Thai authorities also stopped a number of packages containing methamphetamine in Bangkok that were destined for Auckland," police and Customs said in their joint press release.
New Zealand Customs investigations manager Maurice O'Brien said the arrest of the major supplier was a "great win" for both countries, and a great example of the shared commitment of international agencies to taking on the meth trade at both the importer and supplier ends.
"This is the result of focused efforts behind the scenes over a long period of time. We worked together from the outset, with the shared goal of cracking down on the entire supply chain to halt the trade.
"The benefit of having New Zealand liaison officers on the ground in key locations like Bangkok working with local enforcement agencies is invaluable in protecting each other's borders. This operation is evidence of the key role they play."
Police acting assistant commissioner security and international, Superintendent Sue Schwalger, said methamphetamine was a significant driver of crime in New Zealand.
"It ruins lives, destroys families and does enormous damage to our communities. Police continue to work hard, nationally and internationally alongside agencies like Customs, to disrupt the supply chain and reduce the harms caused by methamphetamine.
"Enforcement at the border and domestically is ongoing, and there will be no let-up in our targeting of the manufacturers and suppliers of methamphetamine -- as these arrests show."