Customs and Police seize $40 million of methamphetamine in Auckland
Authorities have seized a massive shipment of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $40 million.
The joint operation between Customs and Police began when the drugs were discovered in Auckland inside a shipment of tea-tray tables from China.
Four men were arrested and appeared in court on Thursday charged with importing methamphetamine, its supply and conspiracy.
Police also seized assets including more than $1m in cash, luxury cars including a Ferrari, Lamborghini, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes Benz and more methamphetamine with a value of $1m.
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Customs investigations manager Maurice O'Brien said the seizure showed the efficiency of an intelligence-led approach to identifying risk shipments and stopping drugs at the border.
"This was a sophisticated concealment to try and avoid detection, but we have multi-layered systems in place and large seizures continue to be made.
"Working with police to share information and resources boosted our joint capability and led to this result."
Detective Inspector Zane Hooper said methamphetamine continued to be a growing problem in New Zealand.
Last year Customs and Police seized more than 334kg of the drug, nine times the amount seized in 2013.
"This drug affects people from all walks of life. Users are directing disposable income away from families and savings to pay for it, and they are usually the ones at the end of a very long supply chain.
"You can be sure that at every step along that chain, someone has made money out of them.
"Gangs members and organised crime groups are heavily involved in the drug supply market, which causes serious harm to our communities and generates an unacceptable social cost."