Man caught smuggling cocaine
A man has been detained at Auckland International Airport following $1 million of liquid cocaine was allegedly uncovered concealed in urns of alcohol in his bags.
American Peter Rhee, 29, landed in New Zealand from Los Angeles last week. Customs says "inconsistencies" were discovered in two bottles of alcohol. After testing they showed a positive match for cocaine, reports Auckland Now.
Rhee has been indicted with importing a Class A drug, and is in custody. He will face Manukau District Court on February 28. The cocaine has been estimated to be worth between $800,000 and $1m.
Customs Manager Drug Investigations, Mark Day, believes the seizure is a great example of the vigilance of Customs officers' preventing drugs entering New Zealand. He said that there is a rising frequency of cocaine in illegal drug markets across the world and New Zealand is a part of that market. The methods of disguise are the same in all countries.
The full jail term for supplying a Class A drug is imprisonment for life. Day added that in November twice as many prohibited drugs were smuggled into New Zealand than a decade ago. In 2010 customs stopped 2000 efforts to smuggle drugs, compared to under 1000 in the year 2000.
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