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Sentence for part in $40m meth deal

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/04/2017

An Auckland man arrested during a police sting targeting a $40 million methamphetamine importation ring has been sentenced to 11-and-a-half years' jail.

Christopher Yim was handed the sentence in the High Court at Auckland on Tuesday after pleading guilty to one charge of possessing about 1kg of the A-class drug for supply.

He was arrested during a series of police raids in March last year, which were prompted by police intercepting 39.6kg sent from China.

Officers discovered more than $1.5 million in cash, some inside a Ferrari and a Lamborghini in storage under Yim's name, along with the drugs.

The court was told two other men, Tze Te Hung, of Taiwan, and Yen Hua Chen, from China, had been sent to Auckland to set up a delivery address for the drug consignment and were running the operation on the North Shore's Forest Hill in early 2016.

Hung was last month sentenced to 13 years and 9 months' prison for his part in the operation and Chen was last year given 12 years and six months' jail.

On Tuesday, Justice Geoffrey Venning said Yim had never given an explanation of where the money - described as an "extraordinarily large amount" by prosecutors - had come from and that he told police he was just holding the drugs for a friend out of the "goodness of his heart".

But the judge was convinced Yim had played an important part in the operation.

He also rejected a letter from Yim as not being genuinely remorseful and said his guilty plea came only a week before a trial during which he faced strong prosecution evidence.

A charge of conspiracy against Yim, who immigrated to New Zealand from Hong Kong about three years ago, was dropped due to lack of evidence.

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