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Sio: Customs Resourcing Crucial In The Fight Against P

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Su'a William Sio
Su'a William Sio

2 July 2009 - The New Zealand Customs Service and Dunedin Police should be congratulated for intercepting approximately $500,000 worth of pseudoephedrine, which originated from China, Labour Spokesperson for Customs Su'a William Sio said today.

"The efforts of Customs and Police have dealt a serious blow to criminals planning to use the pseudoephedrine which is a precursor ingredient for the drug 'P'," Su'a William Sio said.

"The serious negative effects of P make it crucial that resources are available to authorities for their efforts to stamp it out.

"It is more crucial than ever that the Government does not slash Customs staff like the recent announcement of 558 Ministry of Social Development staff being cut," said Su'a William Sio.

"Nearly three million dollars was cut by Government on the Customs support functions budget for the year 2009-2010. That worries me when we want to support Customs in its efforts to stop illegal drugs at our borders.

Customs Minister Maurice Williamson told the Foreign Affairs Select Committee last week that "nobody knows exactly the volume of illegal drugs that enter New Zealand" and "The percentage of interceptions cannot be ascertained".

"To ensure we keep on top of the 'P' problem it's important New Zealand maintains and increases Customs staffing levels to ensure there is a clear picture of what is really going on with illegal drugs importation," Su'a William Sio said.

"I feel strongly that we should be providing as much resource and support to Customs and border control officials to stop the flow of illegal drugs, as the community don't want this stuff on the streets in their neighbourhoods, as once it ends up in our streets, it will have a devastating impact on families."

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