21 November 2019
Customs has arrested two Fijian nationals, who arrived in Tauranga on a commercial vessel earlier this week, after
locating at least 34 kilograms of methamphetamine on board.
The arrested men, both in their thirties, appeared in the Tauranga District Court on Wednesday afternoon (20 November).
They face charges for the importation and possession of a class A controlled drug, which carries a maximum penalty of
The 34 kilograms of methamphetamine seized is worth up to NZ$17 million. Its seizure has prevented up to $42.1 million
of potential social harm to New Zealand communities.
The vessel arrived in Tauranga from Fiji on 18 November and a subsequent search of the vessel located the
methamphetamine hidden in bags in various locations on board the ship. Approximately FJ$16,000 found on board has also
been seized by Customs.
Customs Investigations Manager Bruce Berry says this seizure is a reminder that Customs is active in seaports across the
“This vessel was identified as posing a potential risk before it arrived in New Zealand, and the seizure is the result
of some very good work by Customs frontline officers in Tauranga - one of the main shipping hubs into New Zealand.”
“Customs conducts targeting and risk assessment for all seaports and vessels, and we maintain a presence at the regional
ports to defeat and deter smuggling activities.”
If you have suspicions about someone involved in drug smuggling, call either 0800 4 CUSTOMS (0800 428 786) in
confidence, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously.