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Woman charged after allegedly attempting to smuggle 4.3kg of cocaine into NZ

A 30-year-old woman from Uruguay has appeared in court after allegedly attempting to smuggle 4.3kg of cocaine into New Zealand.

The woman flew in to Auckland Airport yesterday and had allegedly hid the cocaine, which has a street value estimated between $1.2 million and $1.9 million in two false bottom suitcases.

The first time visitor to New Zealand is charged with importing and possession for supply of a Class A drug. The charge has a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Customs Manager Airport Operations, Peter Lewis, says the arrest is a result of ongoing profiling work by Customs.

The alleged quantity of cocaine has an estimated street value between $1.2 million and $1.9 million. (Customs)

"In this instance, the Customs officer did everything that was expected. From the detailed questions and examination of her luggage, the officer recognised the signs that successfully identified the passenger as a drug courier," Mr Lewis said.

"Customs is committed to preventing it and any other drugs from getting past our border and onto our streets."

The woman appeared in Manukau District Court today.

The cocaine was allegedly hidden in two suitcases. Source: Customs