Airport arrests in police crackdown on P

BLAIR ENSOR AND JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 05:00 25/08/2014

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A man and woman have been arrested at Christchurch Airport in a police crackdown on domestic methamphetamine (P) trafficking.

The pair were stopped disembarking a plane arriving from Auckland on Saturday morning.

At the same time, police raided a Christchurch house for evidence.

Police redirected traffic as members of the armed offenders squad secured the property about 9am. They found a sawn-off shotgun, a .22 rifle, drugs and arrested a third suspect.

Two other men at the property were arrested on unrelated matters.

Neighbours watched as the group, some of the men topless, was led away at gunpoint.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tony Hill said police had been monitoring people suspected of travelling to and from the North Island, some under fake names, to import methamphetamine into Christchurch.

Police suspected offenders were taking flights out of the city and returning the same day with "significant" quantities of the drug, Hill said.

Police would continue to target domestic drug trafficking, he said. Methamphetamine destroyed lives and families.

"One of our focuses is protecting our borders. That includes continuing to focus on Christchurch Airport and those intending to use domestic airlines as a means of moving methamphetamine up and down the country," Hill said.

"If you are contemplating using domestic air travel as a means to traffic methamphetamine, be prepared to be stopped and searched."

The two men and the woman appeared in the Christchurch District Court today. Curtains at the raided home were drawn when The Press visited yesterday. A man who answered the door declined to comment.

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