WELLINGTON, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Police and Customs officers said Thursday they had seized methamphetamine valued at 2 million NZ dollars (1.68 million U.S. dollars) that was smuggled from Hong Kong in LED lighting panels.
A joint operation involving more than 40 investigators resulted in a raid Wednesday on a Wellington house and two other lower North Island premises, where they found 2 kg of the "high purity" drug, more than 20,000 NZ dollars in cash and a BMW and a Mercedes motor vehicle, said a statement from the two law enforcement agencies.
Four men aged from 36 to 52 years and a woman aged 39 were arrested and alleged to be part of a syndicate importing illegal drugs.
Police Minister Anne Tolley and Customs Minister Maurice Williamson said the raid sent a strong warning to those involved in the drug trade.
"There is no place for these despicable drugs in our communities," Tolley said in a statement.
"Police and Customs are working together to share intelligence, and they are getting great results."
Last month New Zealand Customs officers seized methamphetamine worth 145,000 NZ dollars being smuggled into the country in women' s platform shoes from China.
Those caught attempting to import into New Zealand controlled drugs such as methamphetamine face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
In October last year, the Customs agencies of New Zealand and China agreed to work more closely together in intelligence-sharing, targeting and operations to combat the smuggling of drugs.