$30m of meth found in handbags

Thousands of handbags hiding $30 million worth of P have been seized by Customs.

The shipment of 4000 handbags from China was hiding 30kg of methamphetamine inside small silica gel sachets, according to a statement to media.

"On inspection, though the handbags appeared ordinary inside and out, something didn't gel. Each handbag had two to five silica gel packs, with approximately 3.6 grams of 'P' hidden in most packs," the statement said.

Customs Investigations Manager Maurice O'Brien said this seizure was another great example of Customs' "intelligence-led approach to identifying risks, and excellent work by frontline officers who examine shipments to stop drugs from reaching our communities".

"This creative concealment shows that criminals will go to great lengths to try and smuggle drugs, but Customs is also constantly building its intelligence picture and updating its risk assessment and examination techniques to keep ahead of emerging trends.

"Customs officers know what to look out for, and are passionate and committed to protecting our communities. A large team spent a day and a half opening and testing thousands of tiny meth-filled sachets that we're proud to have kept off the streets.

"This is another big win for Customs and an even bigger win for our communities," Mr O'Brien said.

Recent Customs and police busts:

* Last week police announced that $14 million worth of cocaine was seized in Christchurch in May. The 35kg of the drugs was hidden inside a 400kg daimante encrusted horse head that was air freighted from Mexico in May.

* Earlier in June, police found 498kg of meth inside a campervan in Northland. It had an estimated street value of $500 million.


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