Rare drug bound for Blenheim

MICHAEL BERRY AND NZPA
Last updated 17:00 19/05/2011

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Eighteen kilograms of a rarely seen class A drug detected at Auckland Mail Centre this month was bound for Blenheim.

Christchurch-based Customs officers arrested a 21-year-old man in Blenheim on April 19 after the package containing the rarely seen drug dimethyltryphamine (DMT), was found at the mail centre in Auckland.

Hamish Alexander Donaldson, 21, of Blenheim, appeared in Blenheim District Court on April 19. He has not yet entered a plea to a charge of importing a class A drug and was bailed to a Blenheim address and ordered to surrender his passport to the court. He will reappear on June 9.

The charge carries a potential penalty of life imprisonment.

Customs and police searched the Blenheim house the package was addressed to and arrested the 21-year-old. The drug haul is the largest amount of DMT found coming into New Zealand, a Customs spokeswoman said. The drug is rarely seen and only small interceptions had been made before in New Zealand.

"DMT is a psychedelic drug where people react very differently to its use, depending on the amount consumed and its purity," the spokeswoman said.

"This poses a real risk to health."

Customs could not immediately put a street value on the seized drug, because it was not common here and there was nothing to benchmark it against.

Meanwhile, Customs intercepted 1.2 litres of the "date-rape" drug gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) in nail varnish bottles in two packages yesterday. A 34-year-old Wellington man was arrested and charged with two charges of importing a class B drug.

The abuse of GBL is widespread throughout New Zealand and is particularly popular in both the nightclub and party scene as it produces feelings of sedation and euphoria.

The spokeswoman said it was also known as a "date rape" drug because it could render a victim unconscious and produce memory loss. An overdose could cause nausea, vomiting, convulsions, coma and death.

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- The Marlborough Express

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