A joint operation by the Organised Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand (OFCANZ), the Australian Federal Police and Queensland Police Service, and the Australian and New Zealand Customs services, has disrupted a cocaine supply network in Australia and New Zealand.
The syndicate were using New Zealand as a stop off point for the drugs, which originated from South America, on the way to Australia.
Auckland Customs staff seized approximately 2 kilograms of cocaine, destined for Australia at the border last week. At that time one member of the syndicate was arrested. The cocaine was worth over $1.5 million once it had been cut and distributed on the streets.
Over the past few months it is believed that over 18 kilograms of cocaine originating from this syndicate has been seized by the Australian authorities.
As a result of the seizures and investigations undertaken on both sides of the Tasman, three others, all males, have now been arrested in New Zealand.
Charges laid against those arrested in New Zealand range from importing a Class A controlled drug, Conspiracy to export a Class A controlled drug, and possession and supply of a Class A controlled drug. Those arrested include two Australian nationals aged 27 years and 49 years, a Brazilian national resident in Australia aged 26 years and a 23year old Brazilian.
Detective Inspector Bruce Good said he was very happy with the operation which involved a number of detectives and Customs Investigators in Auckland as well as staff from the Australian Federal Police.
"This was a successful internationally co ordinated operation involving staff from OFCANZ, Australian Federal Police and both Austalian and New Zealand Customs. By our combined efforts we have prevented a significant drug operation from continuing to operate and expand"
All agencies worked well together and the level of co operation was such that the investigation teams were able to close down the group within a very short time frame.
Customs Manager Drug Investigations, Mark Day said the cocaine border seizure was another significant success for enforcement agencies and for the wider community.
“This success comes down to the determination and hard work of everyone involved in this multi-agency operation.”