New Zealand Customs and Police have intercepted 22.6 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in the cargo of an international flight that arrived in New Zealand from Taiwan.

Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Parmenter from the Organized and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand (OFCANZ) said the seizure which was code-named Operation Georgie took place on 5 December.

“This is the second largest border seizure in New Zealand history,” Mr Parmenter said. “We estimate the methamphetamine intercepted during Operation Georgie would have a street value of over $22 million.”

“In 2006 Police and Customs intercepted 95 kilograms of methamphetamine during a joint operation at Auckland Airport. This is our biggest border seizure since then.”

Customs Manager Investigations Maurice O’Brien said the sophisticated concealment method and large quantity of drugs found during Operation Georgie illustrate the risks organized criminal groups are willing to take in the hope of generating large profits.

“These criminals took a big risk and went to a lot of effort to try and smuggle the drugs undetected, but Customs’ officers and systems are alert to such shipments,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I’m pleased that a very large quantity of harmful drugs will not be for sale on our streets these holidays, and the criminal syndicate will have an unhappy Christmas.”

Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Parmenter said Police have arrested two Taiwanese nationals followed the termination of Operation Georgie.

The pair have been charged with importing methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine for supply. They have been remanded in custody and are due to reappear in Manukau District Court in April.

Mr Parmenter said Police and Customs will continue to work hard to reduce the harm that methamphetamine causes in New Zealand.

“We are working together to target the organized criminal groups that bring methamphetamine and the precursors used to manufacture methamphetamine into New Zealand,” Mr Parmenter said.

“Operation Georgie shows we have the capability to disrupt and dismantle these organized criminal groups.”









  1. KC says:

    Airports are a HUGE leak point right now for meth distribution. It comes in through the airport eateries and is picked up by mules who get on planes, both employees and regular passengers. If you sit and watch sometimes in terminals it’s fairly obvious (see: Phoenix ;))