Two Latvian nationals appeared in the Manukau District Court today after Customs officers found 8kg of cocaine hidden in their suitcases.

The 24-year-old man and 30-year-old woman arrived at Auckland Airport from Chile on Monday and were profiled by Customs. Officers examined their baggage and found around 8kg of cocaine hidden inside.

The pair were charged for importing and possessing for supply a class A controlled drug, and face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

It was the third such arrest at Auckland Airport in three days, Customs said in a statement.


A 44-year-old French national who arrived at Auckland from Thailand on September 2 was arrested after 2.3kg of methamphetamine was found hidden in his false bottom suitcase. He faces similar charges.

The arrests were a "fantastic result" and showed Customs had the right approach to finding criminals hidden in the crowds, manager of passenger operations Peter Lewis said.

"Customs places emphasis on giving legitimate passengers a positive airport experience, but this doesn't mean we're not as equally focused on targeting and stopping drug couriers.

"It doesn't matter which nationality these drug couriers are, where they're travelling from, or what type of drugs they're trying to smuggle. Customs officers have a good understanding what to look out for, and will do all it takes to eliminate that risk."