Drugs ordered on web

Last updated 08:55 22/11/2012

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A 19-year-old man was sentenced in Invercargill District Court last week for importing five ecstasy tablets from the Netherlands via the internet.

Isaac Patiari Teaukura Maki, IT student, appeared before Judge Michael Behrens for importing a class B drug, namely methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) on or about June 28, driving with a blood alcohol level of 95mg at Queenstown on September 28 and driving with a breath alcohol level of 304mcg on November 3.

He was sentenced to three months' community detention, six months' supervision and disqualified from driving for nine months.

Maki's lawyer, Hugo Young, asked for a discharge without conviction but it was refused by the judge.

The police summary of facts says a parcel was intercepted by New Zealand Customs at the International Mail Centre at Auckland Airport on June 28.

Customs found five tablets hidden within a fluorescent light starter.

A narcotics indicator test showed it was MDMA (or ecstasy) and stamps and franking on the parcel showed it had been sent from the Netherlands to a person called Mary Blank, the summary says.

Police made inquiries at the house the parcel had been addressed to and spoke with Maki. He admitted buying the tablets using an anonymous website known as Silk Road.

He said he had purchased the tablets, worth about $60, with BitCoins, which are an anonymous digital currency traded in a similar fashion to publicly listed shares.

Maki told police the pills were for his own use and he had used the fake name to lessen the risk to himself.

Mr Young said Maki later committed the drink-driving offences while under stress because of the drug charge.

Judge Behrens said Maki admitted importing the drugs out of curiosity.

New Zealand Customs Service drug investigations manager Mark Day said yesterday, after the sentencing, Customs had intercepted hundreds of envelopes containing drugs, normally in small amounts, this year.

Customs was actively engaged in screening this type of mail, he said.

"It's a ticking time-bomb for people who do it or continue to do it. Eventually we believe they will get caught."

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- The Southland Times

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