Cocaine found in unclaimed bags at Auckland Airport

Customs has seized 18 kilograms of cocaine at Auckland International Airport after locating it in two backpacks that were left unclaimed near the baggage carousel.

Customs officers were alerted to the unclaimed backpacks which arrived from North America, uncovering bricks of cocaine in each backpack. This amount is estimated to be worth up to $8.1 million on the street or the equivalent of 180,000 individual doses.

Customs Manager Auckland Airport Paul Williams says this seizure goes to show the brazen behaviour of some criminal groups that hide amongst the crowds and the ongoing trend of cocaine being sent from the Americas.

“I would like to acknowledge the vigilance of partner agencies who were quick to note the suspicion and alert Customs officers.

“This case demonstrates the importance of close collaboration and how everyone can help to protect our borders and communities.”

No arrests have been made at this stage and an investigation is underway.

For any suspicions about drug smuggling behaviour, call Customs confidentially on 0800 WE PROTECT (0800 937 768) or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

/Public Release. View in full here.