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Online drug imports on the rise

Online drug imports on the rise


 WELLINGTON: New Zealand Customs says it is becoming more common for “opportunists” to order illegal drugs online with the intention of reselling them in New Zealand for a profit.

Customs’ Manager Investigations, Mark Day, was commenting after a record haul of an unusual red powder containing the hallucinogenic Class A drug dimethylltryptamine (DMT) resulted in a Blenheim man being sentenced to seven months’ home detention.

Hamish Alexander Donaldson, 23, pleaded guilty at the Blenheim District Court to importing a Class A controlled drug. He had bought 18 kilograms of the red powder containing DMT from an overseas website and had planned to resell it online under the guise of plant dye.

Customs officers at the International Mail Centre in Auckland intercepted the haul of red powder that arrived from Mexico in April 2011 and identified it as containing DMT. Customs officers executed a search warrant, arresting Donaldson at his Blenheim address a few days later. “It’s becoming increasingly common for opportunists to order illegal drugs online with the intent to resell them locally for a profit, but Customs is focussed on stopping these getting through and catching the importers,” Day said. DMT is a Class A drug in New Zealand and importing it is a serious criminal offence, regardless of its form or level of puritym he said. “DMT is a hallucinogenic that poses a real risk to users because people can react very differently to it.