Illegal weapons smuggled in from Germany

Last updated 08:21 06/01/2014

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The bulk of weapons illegally imported into New Zealand come from Germany, the United States or Australia, new figures show.

What has come into the country, where it came from and how many intercepts have been made since 2009 until September 30 last year has been released to The Press under the Official Information Act.

Prohibited goods include controlled drugs and prescription medicines, drug paraphernalia, weapons, objectionable material, copyright/ trademark goods and items containing endangered species.

The list shows that total interceptions for weapons in the last four years included 206 seizures from Germany, 171 from the United States and 150 from Australia.

A detailed database of items intercepted at New Zealand's borders is kept by the New Zealand Customs Service.

When Customs finds goods of interest at the border, it is referred to as an "interception". From there, it takes custody of the goods, which are either released back to the importer or formally seized.

If goods are intercepted or detained, it is usually because a person failed to declare them, someone made an incorrect declaration or produced false or incorrect documents, the goods were prohibited or restricted, or a person attempted to evade duty.

Customs also detains goods that are abandoned.

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- The Press

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