Exposed: drug lords use Airbnbs to smuggle huge methane shipments – and the warning signs that owners need to watch out for
- The New Zealand customs officials discovered a shipment of 469 kg meth
- Airbnb properties have been used by drug smugglers in connection with drug failure
- Homeowners have been warned of signs that their home is being used by smugglers
Foreign nationals have traveled to New Zealand and hired Airbnbs to receive and distribute large methamphetamine drug shipments.
Customs officials had their biggest meth shipment in August when they discovered a shipment of 469 kg of the drug stowed in 60 electric motors from Thailand.
Airbnb properties have been used for smuggling, and homeowners have been warned of signs that their properties could be used by global drug consortia.
Customs officials had their largest meth shipment in August after discovering a delivery of 469 kg of the drug stowed in 60 electric motors from Thailand
This includes the arrival of sports equipment such as golf carts or electric motors, third party bookings, cash payments and people who want to rent premises for a long time.
Customs Investigation Manager Bruce Berry said the use of Airbnbs by drug smugglers is increasing.
"It is a well-known international trend that foreign nationals come to the country to receive and distribute drug shipments," said Berry.
"They use storage units or business premises and rent houses with Airbnb as part of their illegal activities."
Mr. Berry noted that some New Zealanders who rented their homes to a drug smuggler through Airbnb later said customs officials said they had noticed unusual aspects of the booking or guests.
He said Airbnb hosts usually don't warn officials with these concerns, but they should.
Airbnb properties have been used in the context of illegal drug smuggling, and homeowners have been warned of signs that their properties could be used by global drug consortia
An Airbnb spokesman said the reports of drug smugglers who use their service are something they take seriously.
"Airbnb tolerates absolutely no drugs and activities and takes recent reports extremely seriously," a spokesman for Daily Mail Australia said.
& # 39; Our strict guidelines prohibit anyone connected to a dangerous organization from being on our platform. We have a global team that works hard to support local law enforcement agencies and their investigations.
& # 39; To protect our community from fraud and other security issues, we prohibit offline or cash payments.
“We urge our hosts to be vigilant, and we encourage them to notify us if they see anything suspicious, such as a guest asking to pay a host offline or in cash.
The warning signs include the arrival of sports equipment such as golf cars or electric motors, bookings from third parties, cash payments and people who are looking for a rental apartment over a longer period of time (picture in stock).
The weight of meth allegedly uncovered by customs officials during the August 26 seizure accounted for approximately half of New Zealand's total drug use.
The street value is estimated to be $ 235 million.
Three men appeared before the Auckland District Court on Friday, where they were charged with drug and weapon charges.
The men are two Canadian citizens and a New Zealander.
"This seizure has prevented a significant amount of drugs from reaching communities and has deprived organized crime groups of hundreds of millions of dollars in profits," said Berry.
"Customs will continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies here and off the coast, as well as industry partners, individuals and businesses, to target shipments and syndicates."
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