Customs intercepts ecstasy in mail
Customs officers intercepted 2,887 ecstasy tablets at the International Mail Centre and a joint Customs-Police operation
resulted in the arrest in Timaru this morning of a 32-year-old New Zealand man on charges of importing a class B
"The parcel was posted from the United Kingdom to an address in Timaru," explains Bill Perry, Customs Manager Drug
Investigations. "This interception highlights New Zealand's growing problem of illicit drug importation."
This seizure brings the total number of MDMA (or ecstasy) tablets seized by Customs in 2006 to 6,026, down from last
year's total of 20,059. However Customs' crystal methamphetamine seizures for 2006 are nearly ten times up on the 2005
figures, indicating a growing trend towards methamphetamine importations. "However importations of ecstasy and other
MDMA products are still an area of ongoing concern and monitoring for Customs," says Bill.
Customs International Mail Centre in Auckland processes all international mail entering and leaving the country, around
3 million incoming and 2.5 million outgoing mail items each month. Simon Williamson, Customs Manager Northern Ports,
says, "Customs screens all mail entering the country using a range of methodologies including our officers' skills and
experience, x-ray equipment and detector dogs. Volumes of mail are rising and Customs officers are gearing up for the
busy Christmas season."