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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

Comments and questions


I've always thought we've been paying through the nose for milk powder.

Odds on it was the Panamanians.
Somewhat of a superfluous comment to say that "there is no evidence to suggest that any illegal substances were introduced into the container before it left New Zealand' given that NZ Customs would presumably be referring to it as a "sting operation" if there was.

With the price of cocaine in NZ being the highest in the world, there is the no chance it came from here.

Did the box have the same security container door seal attached upon arrival destination as that which was fixed at New Zealand packing point ??
Fonterra would be able to ascertain am and the box number in a very short space of time-- what information was recorded on the B/Lading ??