A group of 10 Malaysians were arrested attempting to enter New Zealand with methamphetamines hidden in their shoes, customs officials said Wednesday.
The alleged smugglers, eight men and two women ranging from their early 20s to late 60s, were intercepted at Auckland airport on Tuesday after arriving with a tour group on a flight from Malaysia, New Zealand Customs said.
Customs drug investigations manager Mark Day said the arrests represented the most drug couriers ever caught in a single bust at the New Zealand border.
"By embedding themselves in what appear to be legitimate tour groups, these criminals are trying to assume normal travel patterns so that they will not be targeted as high risk," he said.
Day said each of the alleged couriers were carrying between 800 grams and 1.0 kilograms (1.8-2.2 pounds) of methamphetamine in their shoes and put the estimated street value of the haul at around NZ$10 million ($8.1 million).
All 10 were charged with drug offences and are due to face court later Wednesday.