Customs is being praised by the government for making a record number of drug seizures in 2016.
Of the 4165 seizures made last year, a total of 413 kilograms of methamphetamine and 1.1 tons of meth precursors, mainly ephedrine which could have yielded up to 809kg of the Class-A drug, were stopped at the border.
Customs Minister Nicky Wagner says smugglers have all sorts of elaborate and creative ways of attempting to smuggle drugs into New Zealand.
“Whether it’s on passengers, in cargo or through the mail, Customs is committed to keeping these harmful substances off our streets,” she says.
Customs received $2.78 million under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act last October to continue its clamp down on illegal activity.
“This funding will help further boost Customs’ ability to target and seize drugs both here and overseas.
“More than $730,000 will be used to disrupt the supply of meth and its precursors into New Zealand through collaboration and intelligence operations with other border agencies around the world.
“Another $568,000 will improve Customs’ drug examination and exhibiting facilities at key locations for higher quality evidence and intelligence recording, as well as improved health and safety for officers.”