We believe it's our container in drug bust: Fonterra
Fonterra believes a milk powder container involved in a 165kg drug bust in Algeria is one of theirs.
The dairy giant's communications director, Graeme McMillan, told NBR ONLINE: "We understand it is a Fonterra container involved but we still haven't had that formally confirmed."
Agence France-Presse reports that the massive haul is one of the largest ever intercepted in the North African country. The New Zealand Customs Service is also trying to establish the facts, while expressing confidence that the drugs did not come from here.
Customs says it is aware of Algerian media reports that a significant quantity of an illegal drug, either cocaine or heroin, has been found in a shipment of milk powder in Algeria.
Customs has not been able to verify the reports and is working closely with Fonterra.
The dairy giant is waiting to hear which Algerian authority is investigating and is on standby to provide any information required.
Fonterra is the largest exporter of dairy products in the world.
Customs group manager trade and marine Paul Campbell says there is no evidence to suggest that any illegal substances were introduced into the container before it left New Zealand.
The cargo was unloaded and reloaded in Panama and Valencia, Spain.
"We have engaged our attache in Brussels and he will be working to establish the facts," Mr Campbell says.
- additional reporting by BusinessDesk