A woman jailed for 27 years for her role in relation to the largest seizure of methamphetamine in the country on Ninety Mile Beach is appealing her conviction and sentence.

Selaima Fakaosilea admitted her role in the money laundering and distribution of meth across the country, and was jailed for 14 years and six months.

This was on top of the 12 years six months earlier imposed on the lead charge of importing meth — a total of 27 years.

She is a close relative of All Black great Jonah Lomu.


Fakaosilea has denied any role in smuggling the 500kg of meth into the country in June 2016 which was worth somewhere between $130 million and $150m, if sold at $250,000 to $300,000 a kilogram.

Despite the crucial mistake of trying to bring the meth ashore in the surf of a west coast beach, as well as some bad luck, the record-breaking haul was stopped only by the suspicions of Far North locals and the quick thinking of a young cop.

Within five days, police had made seven arrests.

The Court of Appeal was to have heard Fakaosilea's appeal against conviction and sentence in April but it had to be rescheduled to November 9 due to the lockdown.

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She went by the alias Blaze and was arrested during the second police investigation, codenamed Operation Virunga, that started with a wire tap on the telephone communications she has had with others.

Fakaosilea was caught redhanded supplying 14.9kg meth and 1.9kg of cocaine to Adrian Le'Ca, a patched member of the Bandidos from the Thailand chapter.

In just three weeks, she was also seen handing over suitcases holding $3.5m to be laundered overseas.


She was in a relationship with Callan Hughes, an Australian deportee, whose lieutenant Kane McArley was also a 501 deportee.

Hundreds of deportees from Australia, known as "501s" because of the section of the immigration law that allows people to be deported on character grounds, have been sent to New Zealand in recent years.

Fakaosilea, along with Stevie Norua Cullen, were found guilty by a jury after five weeks of evidence in the High Court at Whangārei in June last year.

Cullen was jailed for 27 years for his role in the importation of meth.

Fakaosilea's brother Ulakai admitted taking part in the meth import along with five others, and was jailed for 22 years, nine months.