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Two Fijian nationals have been arrested after $17 million (US$10.8 million) of methamphetamine was found on a boat that arrived in Tauranga.
The arrested men, both in their 30s, appeared in the Tauranga District Court on Wednesday afternoon.
They face charges for the importation and possession of a class A controlled drug, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The 34kg of methamphetamine seized is worth up to $17 million (US$10.8 million).
The vessel arrived in Tauranga from Fiji on 18 November and a subsequent search by Customs located the methamphetamine hidden in bags in various locations on board.
A large sum of money found on board has also been seized by Customs.
NZ Customs investigations manager, Bruce Berry said the seizure was a reminder that Customs was active in seaports across the country.
“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,” he said.
SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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