A $20 million haul of meth has been found hidden in spatulas.
In what is being described as a significant seizure around 20 kg of 'P' has been discovered concealed in boxes of spatulas flown into the country from Asia.
Customs bosses said the use of kitchen utensils revealed the ever-changing tactics syndicates now used to get illicit drugs past borders.
A 23-year-old Hong Kong man today appeared in Auckland District Court after a pallet was intercepted by customs officials last month.
In the latest bust officers uncovered 250 gm packages of methamphetamine hidden in the bottom of each 24-piece boxed set that arrived by air cargo from Hong Kong.
It was estimated the intercepted shipment had a street value of $20m.
Customs investigators linked the shipment to a 23-year-old Hong Kong national who arrived in New Zealand three months ago on a visitor's visa.
He was arrested at a house on Auckland's North Shore last night. He now faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Customs Investigations manager Maurice O'Brien said this was yet another significant seizure that involved an ever-changing method of concealment.
"Customs places a lot of emphasis on understanding the international supply chain and works closely with international enforcement partners around the world to not only cause disruption through individual seizures, but also dismantle the syndicates who are involved."
He said these relationships worked well and were necessary to dismantle syndicates and providing interception capability off-shore to tackle the root of the supply chain.