Two Fijians have been arrested after authorities said they arrived in Tauranga on a commercial boat earlier this week with at least 34 kilograms of methamphetamine on board.
The men, both in their thirties, appeared in the Tauranga District Court yesterday afternoon.
They face charges for the importation and possession of a Class A controlled drug, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Customs said the 34 kilograms of methamphetamine seized is worth up to $17 million dollars.
Customs investigations manager Bruce Berry says this seizure is a reminder that customs is 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," said Mr Berry.
The boat arrived in Tauranga from Fiji on 18 November. The methamphetamine was hidden in bags in various locations on board.
Approximately NZ$11,400 worth of Fiji notes were also found on board and have been seized by customs.