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NZ police take drug fight offshore

Published: 6:25PM Saturday September 05, 2009 Source: ONE News

A pair of New Zealand police officers have taken the fight against methamphetamine or 'p' offshore.
They are teaching officers from the Philippines how to effectively investigate the potentially lethal labs and stop a booming drug trade that has New Zealand in its sights.

In the Philippines the drug New Zealanders know as 'p' is called shabu, but when it comes to stopping the trade both sides speak the same language.

New Zealand police drug experts visited General Santos City to discuss the issue. 

Detective Senior Sergeant John Brunton says: "There's no doubt that organised crime in this country is affected by what happens in South East Asia & if we allow large labs to go flat out up there we are certainly going to receive some of the product in New Zealand."

Lacking in safety gear and procedures 25 officers from the Philippines police and drug enforcement agency have been shown the dangers of the labs.

"Looking after your lungs and your eyes and making sure you don't come out burnt and they were big things we kind of preached at them," says Brunton.

The New Zealand police also enforced the importance of a thorough investigation.

"Being able to follow the money and back track a lot of the chemicals and equipment and it leads you to some pretty interesting crime groups often," says Brunton.

In return the New Zealand police were shown the scale of 'p' production in the Philippines.

"We're talking about huge reaction vessels commercial and industrial sized equipment and materials, they can produce tonnes," says Brunton. 

However the New Zealand police did leave the crime-ridden country with some welcome news as the Philippines police announced they will initiate the creation of a national clandestine drug laboratory response team.

Their uniforms may not be the same but their tactics now are.