Auckland Airport custom officials have seized $20 million worth of ephedrine, an ingredient to use methamphetamine.
According to a press release by the New Zealand police, the ephedrine found had the potential to make 150 kilos and $150 million worth of meth.
The seizure happened in late April, when 200 kilos of ephedrine was found by Customs officials at the border. The police report states that the officers found a “suspicious consignment of eighty boxes of paper sent from China.”
A cavity were reportedly made in the boxes, and the ephedrine was hidden in the stacks of paper.
Police said that three men (aged 31, 34, and 32) have been arrested in relation to the incident, after officers from the Police Organised Crime team in Auckland carried out search warrants in residential addresses like Hillsborough, Ponsonby, central Auckland, Mt Roskill, and Flat Bush.
Jamie Bamford, Customs group manager of Intelligence, Investigations Enforcement, told reporters that syndicates who plan to bring drugs to the country will be prosecuted by Customs.
“We have sophisticated capabilities that are continually proving to work and deliver successes such as these. This seizure is a fantastic example of Customs intelligence-led approach to risk management at the border and excellent work by our frontline officers,” Bamford said.
The three men, who are currently in police custody, are set to appear before the Auckland District Court tomorrow on the following charges: importation of a class B controlled drug and possession of a class B drug for supply.
“Though this is a great seizure and the circumstances seem like something out of a movie, the reality is there are families out there who are being destroyed by meth, kids who are growing up in contaminated homes and innocent people who are victims of serious crime as a result of this drug,” said Detective Inspector Scott Beard.
“It is a truly awful drug and today is a great demonstration of law enforcement working together to target drug trafficking into our country” Mr Beard added.