The Central Otago region, best known for pinot noir and escapade athletics, has become a target for letterbox drug deliveries to unoccupied vacation homes
Drugs are being mailed to the letterboxes of unoccupied vacation homes in New Zealands deep south as methamphetamine use in the countrys peaceful and picturesque Central Otago district increases.
The region in the southern south island, which is best known for its pinot noir vineyards and escapade athletics, is a tourist mecca for foreigners and locals.
But Malcolm Inglis, southern district sleuth senior sergeant, warned on Monday that over the last five years instances of hard drug crime have increased 100 fold and that locals were largely responsible.
Clyde, a sleepy rural township of simply 1000 people is the latest target, with police intercepting four packages of drugs posted to unoccupied vacation homes in the town.
Inglis said letterbox drug deliveries were on the rise in the region.
There is a very transient population in Central Otago and there has always been medications going and going, said Inglis.
But with the rise in popularity of methamphetamine and the ease of ordering medications off the internet we have ensure a sharp rise in people dealing hard drugs such as P[ methamphetamine ], MDMA, ecstasy and LSD.
Inglis said the owners of the homes were unconnected to the importation, but their property had either been monitored for the drug deliveries by a local on the ground, or by someone using way and tracing software online, which allows the sender to monitor a packages journey from source to destination.
People utilizing hard drugs in Central Otago included shearers, businessmen and tourists, he said. The packages sent to the holiday homes were addressed to people the owners had never heard of, and had usually been posted from China, the Netherlands or other European countries.
Central Otago mayor Tim Cadogan said hard drugs were traditionally not much of an issue for the sparsely populated region.Cadogan, a criminal lawyer, said the latest letterbox busts had been a wake-up call.
We are not a Shangri-la down here, we are not immune to outside forces-out, said Cadogan.
In the past holiday homes have usually merely been targeted for petty thefts like raiding the wine cellar, so this is new. And “its dangerous”, because P has such a devastating effect[ on users ].
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