6 Dec 2014

NZer allegedly tried to smuggle meth

3:55 pm on 6 December 2014

More details are emerging in the case of a young New Zealander potentially facing a death sentence in China for allegedly trying to smuggle methamphetamine to Australia.

Peter Gardiner - who also had Australian citizenship - was travelling with an Australian woman, Kalynda Davis, who had also been arrested, the ABC reported.

They allegedly tried to fly from Guangzhou International Airport with the drug in their baggage a month ago.

China's anti-smuggling bureau would investigate their case before they were handed over to prosecutors.

Drug-smugglers in China were liable to a death sentence, or a lengthy jail term, and legal observers say few defendants get off.

The New Zealand Consul-General in Guangzhou, who had visited Mr Gardiner at a detention centre, said he had legal representation.

There was a flourishing drug trade between southern China and Australia and in recent times increased co-operation between the Australian Federal Police and their Chinese counterparts had seen a series of major busts.

Under the Chinese system the pair were not likely to appear in court for some months, but by then their fate would almost certainly have been sealed.