Israeli travellers sentenced in New Zealand for drug smuggling

December 22, 2017 by Keren Cook
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Three Israeli men in their mid-twenties have been sentenced in a New Zealand court for trying to smuggle millions of dollars worth of the drug MDMA, or ecstasy, into New Zealand in January this year.

Victor Borisenko, Vladislav Pischako and Guy Shalom, were convicted for importing a Class B controlled drug and each sentenced to eight years and three months in prison.

The 8.7kg of the drug, with a purity level of 77 per cent, was estimated to have a street value of up to $3.6 million.

The travellers arrived at Auckland International Airport from Singapore on January 3, where X-ray machines discovered packs of MDMA crystals hidden under wooden false bottoms of their suitcases.

A warning to drug syndicates has been issued by Peter Lewis, customs manager at Auckland Airport.

“Criminal syndicates may think they can get away by sending drug couriers during peak travel times because Customs is focused on clearing passengers,” he said.

“While this is true for our legitimate travelers – we wear two hats and are just as focused on catching criminals.

“New Zealand has one of the highest street values for ecstasy in the world, tempting smugglers,” Lewis said.

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