Guangzhou Customs officers seek arrest of NZ drug suspect

Updated: 2014-12-12 07:44

By Li Wenfang in Guangzhou(China Daily)

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Customs officials in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, have applied to the local procuratorate for the arrest of a New Zealander detained on suspicion of drug trafficking.

Officials suspect Peter Gardner, 25, of transporting 30.02 kg of methamphetamine, or "ice". A friend of Gardner's, Australian Kalynda Davis, 22, has been released.

There is no evidence to show that Davis intended to smuggle drugs, said Rao Jiyong, deputy director of a Criminal Investigation Department at the Guangzhou Customs Anti-Smuggling Bureau, on Thursday.

The case has been widely reported by Australian and New Zealand media.

Rao said Davis is just a friend of Gardner's, adding that Gardner had said she was his girlfriend.

Rao said the ice was detected by a scanning machine in 60 bags in two large packs in checked-in luggage as the pair were about to board a plane to Sydney at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport on Nov 8. They planned to travel on to Auckland, New Zealand, from Sydney.

The pair arrived in Guangzhou on tourist visas on Nov 6.

As an international metropolis, Guangzhou faces a grave situation of drug smuggling by foreign nationals, Rao said.

Drug smuggling cases involving Australian suspects have increased rapidly in the past two years and cooperation has been strengthened with Australian federal police and customs in recent years, Rao said.

Of the 63 foreign drug smuggling suspects detected by Guangzhou Customs officials this year, 11 are Australians.

Since an anti-drug smuggling campaign was launched nationwide on Dec 1, Guangzhou Customs officers have busted 10 cases, with Australia being the destination in four of them. Twelve suspects were caught, including one Australian.

Under Chinese law, smuggling more than 50 grams of ice is punishable by a 15-year prison term, life imprisonment or the death sentence.