An Air New Zealand Plane Flies Over Mount Victoria
IN PHOTO: An Air New Zealand plane flies over houses in Mount Victoria as it approaches Wellington airport, October 7, 2011. Reuters/Marcos Brindicci

New Zealand authorities have intercepted about $22 million worth of drugs at the Auckland Airport. Customs and police busted 22.6 kilogrammes of methampethamine which was smuggled in the cargo of an international flight from Taiwan.

According to the New Zealand Herald, Detective Senior Sgt. Colin Parmenter from the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand said the drug bust was conducted last Dec. 5. He declared that it was the second biggest border seizure of drugs in history of New Zealand.

The biggest border seizure happened in 2006 when police and Customs seized 95kg of meth at the Auckland Airport. Customs investigations manager Maurice O'Brien said the criminals took a huge risk by going through a lot of effort to smuggle the meth. However, customs officers are always on the alert for possible drug shipments.

Since the drug bust dubbed as Operation Georgie, two Taiwanese nationals have been arrested and charged with possession and importation of methampethamine. The two have been remanded in custody and are expected to appear in court in April.

Meanwhile, police said the increasing supply in methampethamine is being pushed by gangs on a "willing market." Authorities used search warrants to inspect six properties in Dunedin suspected of having ties with the motorcycle gang Bandidos. Reports said the gang had established a probationary chapter city earlier in the year. Dunedin authorities revealed that five associates of the gang are already facing drug charges.

Police intelligence had detected an increase in the supply of meth in the Southern District. The drug supply was reportedly brought from Auckland. Detective Senior Sgt Malcolm Inglis said the search warrants were carried out since police know the dangers of a growing drug supply. The street value of a tenth of a gram of meth was sold for $100.

Police warn that methamphetamine is highly addictive. The New Zealand Drug Foundation said tolerance to the drug develops quickly that higher doses are needed to get high. Drug use affects the community as desperate addicts might resort to crime to get money to buy their meth.