Four people from an international drug smuggling syndicate have been arrested after police found 11 kilograms of methamphetamine worth $5.5 million stashed inside cooking appliances.

Police in New Zealand and Fiji uncovered a syndicate allegedly importing methamphetamine from the United States into New Zealand.

The investigation began in late December after New Zealand Customs staff detected 5kg of methamphetamine hidden inside a cooking appliance.

Further enquiries by police resulted in two further seizures of methamphetamine, also hidden inside cooking appliances, totalling 6kg.

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Police have found 11kg of methamphetamine hidden inside cooking appliances. Photo / NZ Police
Police have found 11kg of methamphetamine hidden inside cooking appliances. Photo / NZ Police

Overall, the combined 11kg seizure of methamphetamine had a street value of $5.5 million and has prevented $13 million of social harm, police said.

National Organised Crime Group Detective Inspector Paul Newman said a small syndicate was linked to the alleged imports.

Last week police made a number of arrests in New Zealand and in Fiji as part of the operation, dubbed Operation Nova.

Four men from New Zealand, China, Canada and the US were arrested by New Zealand police last week.

Meanwhile, two National Organised Crime Group investigators had been in Fiji supporting the local authorities with their enquiries.

Fijian police also searched a number of properties and detained people linked to the group.

At one address in Suva, their efforts resulted in a seizure of 39kg of cocaine with a street value of about $30m in Fiji ($19.5m in New Zealand).

This had the potential to cause $46.14 million of social harm to our communities.

A Canadian national was arrested in connection with the find.

Newman said they believed the man was connected to the group arrested in New Zealand.

Police have found 11kg of methamphetamine hidden inside cooking appliances. Photo / NZ Police
Police have found 11kg of methamphetamine hidden inside cooking appliances. Photo / NZ Police

"This investigation shows the strength of New Zealand working with its close partners in the Pacific region to combat transnational organised crime groups intent on supplying methamphetamine and cocaine into the New Zealand markets.

"It is well understood that these illicit drugs are the cause of significant social harm to our communities."

At this stage police enquiries were still ongoing and further charges being could not be ruled out, he said.