New charges have been laid against two Fijian seamen accused of bringing about $17 million worth of P into New Zealand.
Joint charges of importing 32.94kg of methamphetamine were laid against Noa Grantham Turuva Kunaqoro, 30, ordinary seaman, and Taniela Delaisavui Molidegei, 32, able seaman, in the Tauranga District Court today.
They were also charged with possession of the same amount of Class A drug for supply.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Previous separately-laid importation and possession charges were withdrawn. No pleas were entered.
The Crown alleges the pair brought the drugs into the Port of Tauranga onboard container ship Southern Moana, which arrived from Fiji on November 18.
Judge Christopher Harding excused both men from appearing before the court due to issues with the courtroom's audio-visual link with Waikeria Prison.
The men were remanded in custody to reappear via audio-visual link on January 13.
Customs has previously reported about 34kg of methamphetamine with a street value of up to $17m was seized from the ship.