A Brazilian man has been sentenced to eight years and seven months in prison for carrying $1.3 million worth of cocaine into the country.
Cassio Spadari Kawasaki, 38, admitted to carrying cocaine for money after 3kg was found along the lining of his suitcase during a bag search at Auckland International Airport in November last year.
He was found guilty at the Manukau District Court on Tuesday.
Customs Manager Passenger Operations at Auckland Airport Peter Lewis says the sentence was a signal to other drug carriers that the money wasn't worth the risk.
"Transnational criminal syndicates recruit drug couriers through various means and have no concern for their wellbeing. These individuals end up bearing the brunt of the law.
"This sentence reflects a good outcome through the vigilance and hard work of Customs officers involved in the pre-screening for risk, as well as those working at the frontline."