Four Nigerians have been jailed in New Zealand their roles in an international drug smuggling ring. New Zealand police said Friday that they were jailed alongside a New Zealander.
The Nigerians received jail terms between 15 and 18 years while the New Zealander got nine years.
The Nigerians were found guilty of importing and possessing methamphetamine for supply, and the New Zealander was jailed for possession of methamphetamine for supply.
Police said operation Gatsby, a joint operation by police and customs, was launched after Customs officers discovered methamphetamine with a street value of 1.5 million NZ dollars (1.04 million U.S. dollars) in the luggage of an Auckland man who had just returned from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
Detective Senior Sergeant Lloyd Schmid said officers determined that the man had been duped and used as a drug mule by an international syndicate and launched an operation to track the destination of the methamphetamine.
During the five-week investigation, they identified two further importations containing over 1.2 kilograms of methamphetamine, Schmid said in the statement.
“Both had been sent to New Zealand through the international mail system from the Philippines and Cameroon,” he said.
“Operation Gatsby demonstrates that the New Zealand drug market is being targeted by organised crime syndicates from every corner of the globe.”
Two other members of the drug syndicate had been sentenced previously for their roles in the operation.