Accused meth importer appears in court


A man accused of importing methamphetamine hidden in a Lego box appeared in Invercargill District Court today.

The 46-year-old, who had the name temporarily removed by Judge John Brandts-Giesen, was arrested Monday night at a rural property in Omaui after police executed a search warrant.

He is charged with importing the Class A drug on July 1, resisting police and possessing methamphetamine on July 18.

During his appearance today, the man’s lawyer, Yousif Al-Kalisy, said initial information had been received from the police, but he still had to follow his client’s instructions.

He also requested the removal of the name citing the right to a fair trial and asked for a three-week pre-trial detention without a plea.

Judge Brandts-Giesen granted the interim deletion of the man’s name, but said more discussion would be needed when the man next appeared on August 9.

He placed the man in custody until this appearance.

It is not yet known how much methamphetamine the arrested man would have had in his possession or how much he would have imported.

After his arrest, the police issued a press release stating that the arrest was the result of a joint operation between the police and customs.

“Half a kilogram of methamphetamine was concealed in a Lego box from the United States and intercepted by customs at the border with an estimated street value of between $250,000 and $300,000,” the statement said.

“Police continue to escalate law enforcement and the disruption of illegal gang activity across the country as part of Operation Cobalt.”

The statement also said that further arrests and charges could be filed.

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