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TAURANGA, 21 NOVEMBER 2019 (NZ HERALD) —Two Fijian nationals have been arrested after $17 million (US$10.8 million) of methamphetamine was found on a boat that arrived in Tauranga.

The arrested men, both in their 30’s, appeared in the Tauranga District Court on Wednesday afternoon.

They face charges for the importation and possession of a class A controlled drug, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

The 34 kg of methamphetamine seized is worth up to $17 million (US$10.8 million).

The vessel arrived in Tauranga from Fiji on 18 November and a subsequent search by Customs located the methamphetamine hidden in bags in various locations on board.

A large sum of money found on board has also been seized by Customs.

NZ Customs investigations manager, Bruce Berry said the seizure was a reminder that Customs was active in seaports across the country.

“This vessel was identified as posing a potential risk before it arrived in New Zealand, and the seizure is the result of some very good work by Customs front-line officers in Tauranga – one of the main shipping hubs into New Zealand.

“Customs conducts targeting and risk assessment for all seaports and vessels, and we maintain a presence at the regional ports to defeat and deter smuggling activities,” he said…(PACNEWS)