Two Christchurch men have been arrested after a two-week joint police and customs operation saw 49 kilograms of methamphetamine seized in Christchurch, the largest seizure of meth in the South Island.
The drugs arrived into Christchurch in an airfreight consignment sent from Mexico on November 1, police said in a statement this afternoon.
Detailed examination located the methamphetamine concealed within the shipment of safety lights.
It consisted of 40 separate packages of around 1 to 1.2kg each, which has yet to be further forensically examined to determine the exact weight of the product.
This amount of the drug had a potential street value of $50 million, and the seizure has prevented $60.71 million of additional community harm, police said.
Search warrants were executed at a number of addresses in Christchurch and Auckland.
Two Christchurch men aged 25 and 31 have been arrested and appeared in Christchurch District Court today on charges of importing a Class A drug, and possession of methamphetamine for supply.
They have both been remanded in custody to reappear in Christchurch next Monday.
Detective Inspector Corrie Parnell, district manager criminal investigations, says this is a significant result for police and customs staff, and will go a long way to help keep communities safe.
“These drugs, should they have made it to the streets, would have caused significant harm to people and communities, not just in Canterbury, but across the country,” he said.
“Methamphetamine is a destructive drug that wrecks lives, breaks down whanau and negatively impacts on our community."
Customs manager central and southern ports Joe Cannon says this operation shows the close-knit relationship between customs and police, as both agencies work together to disrupt meth supply in the communities and regions.
"This seizure was the result of risk-profiling and targeting work that customs carries out for all goods, people and craft coming into New Zealand - whatever the region or method of import," he said.
"We maintain a national perspective to protect our border, and will do everything possible to keep this hideous drug away from our communities."