25 Jul 2012

Cocaine carrying passenger in transit through NZ

8:04 pm on 25 July 2012

New Zealand customs officials say an American national charged with importing cocaine into Australia after he arrived in Brisbane on Monday on a flight from New Zealand was a transit passenger through this country.

The 28-year-old man appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

An Australian aviation security official, Shane Connelly, says about two kilograms of white powder, which initial tests have shown to be cocaine, was found concealed within the lining of two of the man's suitcases.

The Aviation Security Service, which is responsible for security for transit passengers, says the man's carry-on luggage would have been x-rayed and inspected by a sniffer dog.

Luggage on the plane would not have been checked in New Zealand.