A Hong Kong woman has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison for smuggling $1 million of methamphetamine in cans of pork.
Sui Man "Christine" Ip was sentenced in the Auckland High Court yesterday. She will serve at least half her jail-term in New Zealand before facing deportation.
Ip arrived in New Zealand in January, and moved into a flat the same day.
Two weeks later, a package of assorted food items mailed from Hong Kong was x-rayed by the Ministry for Primary Industries and referred to Customs as the cans' contents didn't look like food.
Customs found three cans marked as "stewed pork ribs" were filled with more than 1kg of methamphetamine.
Customs investigators linked the package to Ip, and she was arrested at Auckland International Airport in early March as she tried to leave the country.
Customs investigations manager Maurice O'Brien said it was not uncommon for offenders to come into the country solely to "catch" and redeliver drugs.
"Customs is well aware of the tricks criminals use, and has systems in place to catch them - however the drugs are canned.
"At the border, we have a coordinated approach to cargo that saw the referral to Customs.
"We also work closely with our border partners in Hong Kong to tackle shipments at the supplier end."