Delamere Corrects Newspaper's Errors

  • John Delamare

Customs Minister Hon Tuariki Delamere today corrected a Sunday Star Times report which claimed that the Australian Federal Police were unhappy with the New Zealand Customs Service's handling of a $50 million heroin bust in Auckland recently.

The paper claimed the Australian authorities would have preferred the 10 kilos of high quality heroin from Thailand to have been allowed to be sent on to Sydney so that the bigtime drug barons could have been caught.

"The Australian officer who is the alleged source of these remarks has informed the New Zealand Service that he is perplexed by this report, as the Australian authorities have absolutely no problem with the actions taken by New Zealand Customs or Police.

"The subsequent inquiries by the Australian Federal Police and the arrest of a third man in Sydney allegedly involved in the heroin smuggling are a clear indication of the excellent trans-Tasman co-operation that was apparent in New Zealand's highest-value drug seizure.

"It is regrettable that the Sunday Star-Times chose to manufacture conflict where none existed and completely missed the more relevant point highlighted by the Bangkok Post which commented on July 17 that "the operation showed a high degree of the type of international trust and communications that is essential if the drug threat to our countries is to be beaten back.

"The Post went on to comment "Those involved considered it a landmark test of international co-operation and I concur," said the Minister.