Four jailed for liquid meth in wine bottles

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Four persons including two Taiwan nationals who were charged in relation to the importation, as well as conspiracy to import methamphetamine into New Zealand have been sentenced.

In early 2015, a joint investigation involving Police and Customs was launched after it was discovered that a drug syndicate was operating, which involved Taiwanese nationals travelling to New Zealand under the guise of being tourists.

Case history

They would receive packages which claimed to contain wine, when in reality they contained methamphetamine in a liquid form.

Under this operation, authorities seized 6 kilograms of methamphetamine with a street value of approximately $6 million. In September 2015, four offenders were charged, and have now been convicted as follows:

24-year-old man and 27-year-old woman were convicted of one charge of conspiracy to import methamphetamine, and one charge of conspiracy to supply methamphetamine – nine years’ jail.

25-year-old man convicted on three charges of importing methamphetamine and one charge of conspiracy to import methamphetamine – 17 years and 4 months’ jail

21-year-old male convicted on one charge of conspiracy to import methamphetamine – six years and three months’ jail.

Detective Superintendent Greg Williams of the National Organised Crime Group said this joint investigation, the arrests, and the sentence reflects the effectiveness of joint agency cooperation in detecting and dealing with this type of offending.

High demand drug

“Police are under no illusion that there is a very high demand for this drug. The damage to individuals, families and whanau from methamphetamine is immeasurable. Our work is to disrupt these organised criminal groups who do not care at all about the devastation this drug causes to our community is ongoing.”

“Police and Customs have a strong partnership and work together with a focus on stopping this drug infecting our communities. Police are focused on getting help for those with drug addiction and encourage anyone concerned for someone they know to contact police or one of the many community support groups available to them for assistance,” he said.

Changing trends

Customs Investigations Manager Bruce Berry said that the sentence shows those who risk getting involved in the illicit business of importing and supplying drugs should be prepared to get caught and pay for their crimes.

“Customs is aware of the different trends and methods that criminal syndicates try to use to smuggle methamphetamine, and are agile in responding to these. Whether it’s sending individuals into the country as tourists, or smuggling drugs in plain sight as a legitimate product – in this case wine – we use intelligence to understand what risk looks like, and focus our efforts accordingly. Customs will continue to partner with Police to take down other drug supply networks.”

There are many support services and organisations in our communities that can assist. The Drug Alcohol Helpline (0800 787 797 or alcoholdrughelp.org.nz) is a great place to seek information and support to begin removing yourself from the harm caused by these types of drug.

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Photo Caption:

Liquid Meth in Wine Bottle

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