Pair in record drug bust named

The haul was said to be the largest that police have made in the South Island. Photo NZ Police
The haul was said to be the largest that police have made in the South Island. Photo NZ Police
Two men arrested after a record $50 million methamphetamine bust in Christchurch last week can now be named. 

Jonathan Seal (25) and Michael Harrison Cooper (31) had interim name suppression lapse this morning at their second appearance before a judge at Christchurch District Court.

They have been charged with importing a Class A drug, and possession of methamphetamine for supply.

They have been remanded in custody for another court hearing via audio visual link (AVL) from prison on December 4. It is expected the pair will then enter pleas to the charges.

The name of the business where the package was allegedly sent was suppressed today by Judge David Saunders after a defence counsel application.

The pair were arrested by police last week in connection with what police say is the largest seizure of methamphetamine in the South Island.

The drugs arrived into Christchurch in an airfreight consignment sent from Mexico on November 1, police say.

Detailed examination found 49kg of methamphetamine concealed within a shipment of safety lights.

It consisted of 40 separate packages of around 1-1.2kg each, which has yet to be further forensically examined to determine the exact weight of the product.

Police say the drugs had a potential street value of $50m, and the seizure has prevented $60.71m of "additional community harm".

Search warrants were executed at a number of addresses in Christchurch and in Auckland after a two-week joint police and Customs operation.

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