Drug courier jailed after trying to smuggle cocaine into NZ

Some of the cocaine seized in the bust. - Photo: NZ Customs Service

A drug courier who tried to smuggle a million dollars' worth of cocaine into the country in the lining of his suitcases has been jailed for more than eight years.

Portugese national Helder Soares Gomez, 47, tried to pass through customs at Auckland Airport in October with 2.6 kilograms of the class A drug hidden in the lining of two suitcases.

The cocaine had a street value of up to $1.2 million.

Customs investigations manager Bruce Berry said it was "not a particularly sophisticated concealment".

"Thorough examination by Customs officers at the airport led to the seizure, and this man will now spend considerable time in jail."

Gomez will be deported after serving his sentence.

Customs said it had arrested three other cocaine couriers at Auckland Airport in the past four months.


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