Two arrested and charged after cocaine bust at Port Chalmers

Police and Customs worked together to identify and arrest two men trying import cocaine into New Zealand. Photo / File

Police have arrested and charged two foreign nationals with serious drug offences after they were found unloading drugs off a ship docked at Port Chalmers in Otago.

Detective Inspector Albie Alexander said police have been working alongside Customs since August following the seizure of 91kg of cocaine in the USA.

This triggered an investigation into an international criminal syndicate’s alleged involvement in the importation of Class A drugs into New Zealand, named Operation Port.

Police arrested the two men, aged 31 and 45, as part of the investigation. They appeared in the Dunedin District Court today on serious charges that relate to conspiring to import cocaine into New Zealand.

Both have been remanded in custody.

Police are not ruling out further arrests and Operation Port remains ongoing, Alexander said.

Alexander also maintained that the identification and arrest of the two men illustrated the cooperation and strong partnerships that police have with their international partners in targeting criminal activity at our borders and in the community, making New Zealand a hard target for organised crime to operate.

Customs investigations manager Cam Moore said Customs will work with Police and international partners to detect and put a stop to criminal operations and their proceeds of crime at every opportunity.

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