A Canadian man was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years’ imprisonment in the Manukau District Court today for importing and possessing 17.9 kilograms of methamphetamine that was found in printer toner cartridges and had a street value of up to $9 million.
Jingyuan Zhang, 28, will serve at least half of this term before facing deportation.
Zhang and his travel companion arrived at Auckland Airport from Canada in January and Zhang stayed in temporary accommodation in south-east Auckland.
In March, Customs examined a mail consignment from the United States linked to Zhang, locating finely powdered methamphetamine in 12 printer toner cartridges. Customs monitored the delivery of the cartridges and arrested Zhang.
Michael Blades, Customs’ Acting Group Manager Intelligence, Investigations & Enforcement, says renting short-term accommodation to receive illegal drugs is a known tactic of criminal syndicates.
He says if someone has concerns about anyone renting short-term accommodation and making out-of-the ordinary inquiries about receiving packages, they can be reported in confidence to 0800 4 CUSTOMS or to Crimestoppers.
Customs says based on the New Zealand Drug Harm Index, the potential social harm avoided through this seizure is estimated to be $22.1 million.