Truckload of illegal drugs destroyed

a stack of newspapers

Four hundred kilograms of illegal drugs estimated to be worth around fifty million dollars have been destroyed in a Customs drug disposal operation, marking International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The truckload of drugs destroyed in yesterday’s operation included methamphetamine and its precursors, cocaine, GBL, ecstasy, cannabis, white powder psychoactive substances, and synthetic cannabinoids.

Customs Manager Investigations Maurice O’Brien says drug abuse and illicit trafficking is a global problem and Customs is helping to stem the illicit trade by interrupting the supply chain in New Zealand and working with overseas enforcement agencies.

Customs uses a range of methods to profile, intercept, and seize illegal drugs, such as x-ray, a collaborative intelligence-led approach, profiling for risks, electronic testing apparatus, and detector dogs.

“The vigilance and expertise of our people, and collaboration with other border agencies, both here and abroad, are paying great dividends.”

Criminal networks have become more and more sophisticated in their efforts to conceal prohibited substances. Recent examples are shoes, a mini laptop desk, pillows, the lining of jackets, ornaments and statues, cosmetic bottles, tea bag sachets, and a toy trumpet.

“The illicit drug market, like any other, is driven by demand and supply. The demand will continue to see criminal networks attempting to smuggle drugs across New Zealand’s border and that is the challenge we are responding to,” says Mr O’Brien.

26 June 2015


The Customs rates of exchange for entries lodged on 11/09/2017 to 24/09/2017 (inclusive) to 25/09/2017 to 08/10/2017 (inclusive) are now available here.

The Customs controlled areas are available on the New Zealand Customs Service website.

For information and related forms and documents click here.

For the latest Customs vacancies please visit

You may find the following links useful: The Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation provides industry sector training, including courses offered through an arrangement with an accredited IATA training provider.

International Transchem Management (ITM), an IATA accredited training provider, also provides dangerous goods training to the freight forwarding industry. Email or call 09 489 5275 for further information on the courses on offer.

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