$50m of meth seized in Christchurch

The Southland Times - - NEWS - DO­MINIC HAR­RIS

Po­lice have seized $50 mil­lion of metham­phetamine in Christchurch, the South Is­land’s largest ever haul of the drug.

The 49kg ship­ment was dis­cov­ered in 40 pack­ages hid­den among a cargo of safety lights, po­lice said.

Two Christchurch men, aged 25 and 31, ap­peared in the Christchurch District Court yes­ter­day charged with im­port­ing a class A drug and pos­ses­sion of metham­phetamine for sup­ply.

They were granted in­terim name sup­pres­sion and re­manded in cus­tody un­til Mon­day, when they will ap­pear in court by video link.

Po­lice said the drugs were brought in from Mex­ico via air freight on November 1 in pack­ages weigh­ing be­tween 1kg and 1.2kg.

They had a po­ten­tial street value of $50m. Po­lice be­lieved much of the drug was ‘‘des­tined to end up on the streets of Christchurch’’, but did not let the freight reach its des­ti­na­tion, Par­nell said.

The ar­rests were made fol­low­ing a two-week op­er­a­tion be­tween Cus­toms of­fi­cials and po­lice. Prop­er­ties in Christchurch and Auck­land had been searched.

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Cor­rie Par­nell said the seizure was a ‘‘sig­nif­i­cant re­sult’’.

‘‘These drugs, should they have made it to the streets, would have caused sig­nif­i­cant harm to peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties,’’ he said.

Cus­toms man­ager Joe Can­non said: ‘‘This seizure was the re­sult of risk-pro­fil­ing and tar­get­ing work that Cus­toms car­ries out for all goods, peo­ple and craft com­ing into New Zealand – what­ever the re­gion or method of im­port.’’

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