Arrests made after $7m meth haul

Photo / File
Photo / File

Police have arrested two women, one from Hamilton and one from Invercargill, after recovering up to $7 million worth of methamphetamine.

The pair, from Hamilton and Invercargill, had attempted to smuggle several packages of the Class A drug to home addresses in Hamilton, Huntly and Invercargill.

Customs said in a statement this afternoon each packaged contained some kind of common household good - but all had cases of methamphetamine hidden inside.

The recovered packages amounted to just over 7kg of meth - the street equivalent of almost $7m.

In a joint statement from Customs and Police, authorities said Customs officers seized a total of 11 packages sent from five countries to different names and addresses in Hamilton, Huntly and Invercargill.

The packages were seized from between February and this month and authorities quickly connected them to the same criminal syndicate.

The arrested women appeared in court this afternoon and face multiple charges for importing a Class A controlled drug.

Customs investigations manager Maurice O'Brien said the case highlighted how organised criminals may be working to try to get such drugs into the country via the regions, with the thought that they were less likely to be caught.

However, solid processes meant they would eventually be found out.

"Criminals use a variety of ways to disguise the concealment of this insidious drug that causes so much harm to our communities. But Customs has good systems and tools in place to identify and intercept it and the resources to link multiple shipments to those involved.''

Detective senior sergeant Mark Greene, of Hamilton Police, said: "Methamphetamine is a significant driver of crime and it does enormous damage to families and communities. Police and our partner agencies are determined to do whatever it takes to prevent the harm and victimisation it causes."

Police urged anyone who may suspect someone smuggling or selling drugs, to report them.

**Can you help? Call police immediately, on 111, or CrimeStoppers anonymous: 0800 555 111. You can also contact Customs: 0800 4 CUSTOMS.

- NZ Herald

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