A Canadian man who smuggled $8 million of methamphetamine into New Zealand has been jailed for 15 years.
Kyle Robertson McCready, 27, was convicted during a jury trial in January of smuggling 8kg of the Class A drug into New Zealand in a "decorative" concrete footstool.
He was sentenced in the Manukau District Court, and would need to serve at least six years in jail before facing deportation.
On October 5, 2016, Customs officers at the Air Cargo Inspection Facility in Auckland examined a "decorative foot stool", sent from the United States.
Once smashed open, the concrete footstool was found to contain 18 packages filled with methamphetamine and wrapped in plastic and carbon paper.
The packages weighed about 8kg and had a street value of up to $8m.
Forensic testing showed it had a purity level of 80 per cent.
Customs investigators linked McCready to the air freight shipment and arrested him at Auckland Airport on October 7, 2016, as he tried to leave the country.
Customs acting manager investigations Michael Blades said the operation came from working closely with the freight company and the public, who showed "commendable initiative and integrity".
"The arrest involved quick investigative action that linked the package to the individual – making sure he wasn't able to escape the country before being caught.
"Customs profiles and targets the different methods that criminal syndicates use to smuggle illicit drugs.
"In this case, the man had travelled to New Zealand for a 'holiday', rented a room via an internet ad on a short-term basis, and used a fake name to receive the shipment.
"We urge New Zealanders – room-mates, landlords, or neighbours to be aware of criminals who could be operating around them."
Customs urges people to report suspicious behaviour, such someone who has rented a place short term, and is receiving packages "for a friend", to 0800 4 CUSTOMS.