Drugs bound for south intercepted
Customs New Zealand intercepted heroin at Queenstown Airport, one of four attempts to smuggle the Class A drug into the country this year.
Seizures by type, quantity and class nationally, and at Queenstown Airport, Invercargill Airport and port, and drugs bound for Southland and Central Otago in the mail were provided to The Southland Times under the Official Information Act.
In Queenstown, eagle-eyed officers caught one international passenger with 1.2g of heroin - one of four such incidents in the country so far this year, totalling 3.6g overall.
At the Auckland International Mail Centre, officers intercepted drug shipments bound for the south, including magic mushrooms, the class B "date rape drug" GABA, cannabis leaf, cannabis seeds, morphine, ecstasy and ephedrine. In hauls this year, staff stopped 762g of magic mushrooms, 16 ecstasy tabs, 200 capsules of ephedrine and 300g of synthetic class C drugs.
Two temporary drug class notices were handed out for 48g of synthetic cannabis products.
Nationally, officers stopped 16kg of GABA getting into New Zealand in 96 interceptions.
Customs New Zealand drug investigations manager Mark Day said interceptions such as cocaine were often part of a bigger picture and the involvement of international criminal syndicates in, for example, Afghanistan and South America.
"At the very top you have at the moment the largest amount of heroin being produced in the world.
"That's quite simply big powerful cartels trying to generate income.
"Once you have that [in Afghanistan] you have the people out in South America saying we have to get our product out on the street."
Customs intercepted 3.5kg of cocaine in 2011 in five incidents but so far this year 15 intercepts stopped almost 10kg at the border.
New Zealand was an attractive country to drug syndicates because the return on sales was high, Mr Day said.
Nationally the most common interception last year was pseudoephedrine, the precursor for "P".
Nationally, Customs also stopped DMT, a powerful hallucinogen that occurs naturally in the Amazonian ayahuasca brew used by indigenous people for spiritual ceremonies, 150kg of pseudoephedrine and 48kg of the class C khat, a plant with amphetamine-like effects.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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