New Zealand Embassy Beijing, China

New Zealand and China customs ministers sign statement of co-operation

Following their meeting in Beijing yesterday the ministers of customs for New Zealand and China signed a statement of cooperation to combat the smuggling of pharmaceutical products used to manufacture methamphetamine ("P").

The signing followed a meeting yesterday between Customs Minister Maurice Williamson and his counterpart Minister Sheng Guangzu.

It will ensure the New Zealand and Chinese Customs will work together to combat the importation of drugs used in the making of P.

"Minister Sheng and I stressed the importance of good Customs cooperation across borders to make our communities safer," says Mr Williamson.

Both Ministers stressed the importance of good cooperation between the two countries acknowledged the goal of both Chinese and New Zealand enforcement authorities to disrupt the supply chain for drugs. They expressed their desire to cooperate to prevent the smuggling of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine contained in pharmaceutical products that are used to manufacture illegal drugs.

"China and New Zealand Customs officials will continue to work together to interrupt criminal networks who smuggle ingredients used to make ‘P' out of China into New Zealand," Mr Williamson says.

Since the start of 2010, New Zealand Customs has seized 821kgs of the ingredients, or precursors, used to make ‘P', much of which originated in China.

"This cooperation with China Customs gives New Zealand Customs another tool to stop the scourge of ‘P", Mr Williamson says.

New Zealand Customs also enjoys good working relationships with other law enforcement agencies in China.

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