WELLINGTON, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Joint efforts with China's customs authorities have helped stem the supply of methamphetamine precursor drugs into New Zealand, the New Zealand government said Tuesday.
Customs Minister Maurice Williamson said more than 1.2 tonnes of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine was captured by New Zealand Customs in 921 seizures in 2009, which was a record high.
"In the first nine months of this year just over 300 kilograms was intercepted in 264 seizures," Williamson said in a statement.
The government has focused on attacking the supply, manufacture and consumption of methamphetamine because of its dominance of the illicit drug market, he said.
"In 2010, I signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with China, which is the country's primary source of methamphetamine precursors. Since then, both Customs administrations have worked to stem the import of precursors from China," he said.
"While evidence suggests the methamphetamine market is smaller now than it was, the battle is not over and we must remain vigilant," Williamson said.
"By reducing the amount of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine coming across the border we can prevent millions of dollars of harm to the country."
Last week New Zealand and Chinese Customs agreed to work more closely together to fight the smuggling of pharmaceutical products used to make the drug methamphetamine, or "P" as it is commonly known in New Zealand.
The agreement was the result of talks between Chinese officials and Customs Minister Maurice Williamson during a two-day visit by Vice Minister of the General Administration of China Customs, Lu Peijun.
The two agencies agreed to work closely in areas of intelligence and targeting operations to combat drug trafficking.
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