Revealed: drug lords use Airbnbs to smuggle huge amounts of meth – and the warning signs that owners should watch out for
- New Zealand customs officials discovered a cargo of 469 kg of meth
- Airbnb properties were used by drug smugglers in connection with the drug outage
- Homeowners have been warned of signs that their home is being used by smugglers
Foreign nationals travel to New Zealand and hire Airbnbs to receive and distribute major methamphetamine drug transports.
Customs officers had their largest meth trek in August when they discovered a 469 kg load of the medicine stored in 60 electric motors from Thailand.
Airbnb properties were used in the smuggling operation and homeowners have been warned to watch for signs that their property could be used by global drug syndicates.
Customs officers had their largest meth trek in August after discovering a 469 kg load of the drug stored in 60 electric motors from Thailand
These include the arrival of sports equipment such as golf carts or electric motors, bookings from third parties, cash payments and people who want to rent a home for long periods.
Douce Investigations Manager Bruce Berry said that the use of Airbnbs by drug traffickers became commonplace.
& # 39; It is a well-known international trend for foreign nationals to enter the country alone to receive and distribute drug transports, & # 39; said Berry.
& # 39; They use storage units or commercial buildings and rent houses on Airbnb as part of their illegal activities. & # 39;
Mr. Berry noted that some New Zealanders who rented their home to a drug smuggler through Airbnb told customs officials that they noticed unusual aspects of the booking or the guests.
He said that Airbnb hosts do not usually warn officials about these concerns, but they should.
Airbnb properties were used in illegal drug smuggling and homeowners were warned to watch for signs that their property could be used by global drug syndicates
An Airbnb spokesperson said the reports from drug traffickers who use their service take them seriously.
& # 39; Airbnb has absolute zero tolerance for illegal drugs and activities and takes the recent reports extremely seriously & # 39 ;, a spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
& # 39; Our strict policy prohibits everyone on our platform from being associated with a dangerous organization. We have a global team that works hard to support local law enforcement and their investigations.
& # 39; To protect our community against fraud and other security issues, we prohibit offline or cash payments.
& # 39; We urge our hosts to be alert and encourage them to notify us if they see something suspicious, such as a guest who asks a host offline or in cash.
Warning signals include the arrival of sports equipment such as golf cars & electric motors, third-party bookings, cash payments and people looking for a long period to rent a property (stock image)
The weight of meth allegedly discovered by customs officials during the seizure of August 26 represented about half of the total consumption of the drug in New Zealand.
It has an estimated street value of $ 235 million.
Three men appeared in the Auckland court on Friday, where they were confronted with drug and weapon loads.
The men are two Canadian subjects and a New Zealander.
& # 39; This seizure has disrupted a significant amount of drugs to reach communities and has deprived organized crime groups of hundreds of millions of dollars in profits & # 39 ;, Berry said.
& # 39; Customs will continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies here and offshore, as well as industry partners, individuals and companies, to address shipments and syndicates. & # 39;
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