Police have warned the public that Airbnb rentals are being used by foreign nationals to receive and store methamphetamine as customs seized a record-setting $240 million worth of P in an Auckland shipping container today.
The 469 kilograms of methamphetamine is the largest ever seizure at New Zealand's borde.
Speaking to media today, New Zealand Customs Service investigations manager Bruce Berry talked about the use of Airbnb in the Kiwi drug trade.
"What we know from these shore parties is they extensively use Airbnb accommodation, they use storage units and also commercial premises.
"It's a common methodology for them to come through and rent accommodation for an extended period of time. They'll usually pay cash and they'll use those premises to facilitate their operations by either receiving commercial shipments there or use them as safehouses," he said.
Mr Berry went on to outline what to look out for when renting your property to someone.
"There are a number of risk factors we would like the community to be aware of when dealing with this, which include foreign nationals hiring accommodation or rental premises for an extended period of time, paying cash and receiving goods or services that aren't consistent with the nature of their visit."
In terms of the latest seizure, in mid-August a shipment of electric motors was intercepted by customs coming in from Thailand.
Concealed within the electric motors was a total of 469 kilograms of methamphetamine.
The seizure amounted more than a tonne of the drug stopped at New Zealand borders this year, and a further 200 kilograms with international partners.
Each of the 60 motors had about eight kilograms of meth concealed in the internal working of the motor in what Mr Berry described as “an extremely sophisticated and complex importation by an organised criminal syndicate”.