Customs and police partnership leads to seizure of 24kg of cocaine

Police Minister Stuart Nash and Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri said strong collaboration between Customs and Police led to the seizure of 24kg of cocaine in Paihia yesterday.


A 26-year old French national is appearing in the Whangarei District Court today following an intensive month-long investigation. The cocaine seizure is one of the largest in New Zealand, with a street value estimated to be between $6.8 million and $10.8 million.


Hon Meka Whaitiri congratulated the officers involved in the investigation and said they had contributed significantly to a reduction in harm to New Zealanders.


“We do not want these illicit drugs in our country. This is great work and a fine example of Government agencies working together to protect our communities and keep them safe.


“We hope this sends a strong message to those seeking to traffic drugs – New Zealand border and law enforcement partners are working together to catch you, and not just at airports.”


Police Minister Stuart Nash said identifying and targeting drug carriers was a big priority for both agencies.


"Drugs like cocaine have no place in our community and I would like to congratulate the men and women on the successful arrest in this case. 


"Drug abuse is the cause of too much harm in our communities, whether it's the health side effects from those abusing drugs or crimes that people commit when they are looking for ways to fund their habit.


"This operation is a great example of Police's operating model ‘Prevention First’ where they work with partner agencies to prevent crime from occurring.


These illicit drugs are destructive and have no place in our communities. We know they cause devastating social and financial harm and they lead to increased crime.”