Air NZ staffer accused of smuggling P

ROB KIDD
Last updated 16:52 24/07/2014

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A former Air New Zealand staff member charged with smuggling methamphetamine into New Zealand while working as a cabin attendant can now be named.

Long-serving employee Douglas Reimer, 49, is accused of flying into Auckland International Airport from North America on May 15 with the concealed class-A drug.

An airline industry source alleged the Pukekohe man had sewn the P into the lining of his jacket in a bid to evade Customs officers' searches.

Customs passed on all inquiries to police who would not confirm any circumstances of the alleged offending.

Reimer appeared in the Manukau District Court in May and was given name suppression because his father was terminally ill.

However, his lawyer, Bruce Hesketh, said today the father had since died and he did not seek continuance of suppression.

Reimer had told his lawyer he was proud of the work of his former colleagues and did not want suspicion to fall on them.

Judge David McNaughton remanded the defendant on bail until his next appearance in September.

The maximum penalty for importing P is life imprisonment.

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman confirmed the experienced staff member was no longer working, but would give no further details about his employment situation.

"Our response [to criminal charges] would be determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into account factors such as the nature of the alleged offence, the nature of the employee's role, their ability to continue to perform the role, and any regulatory or compliance issues," she said.

Asked whether the former flight attendant had received medical or psychological support from the company, she would not comment.

Air New Zealand screened all prospective cabin crew members with a Ministry of Justice check, the spokeswoman said.

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