Belgian denied entry to NZ

A 20-year-old Belgian man was stopped by New Zealand Customs at Queenstown Airport and involved in an ''immigration turnaround'' due to his alleged illegal drug habit.

The passenger was referred to Immigration New Zealand when, during a NZ Customs search of his bag, he admitted regular drug use, a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment spokeswoman told the Otago Daily Times yesterday. Queenstown police logged the incident as occurring on Saturday at 12.30pm.

Information provided by the passenger during a subsequent interview with Immigration NZ indicated he was ''likely to commit an offence'' in New Zealand punishable by imprisonment.

The passenger was therefore denied entry to New Zealand under section 16 of the Immigration Act, the spokeswoman said.

The Belgian was detained in Queenstown police station overnight and was sent back on a commercial passenger aircraft to Sydney.