In what is seen as a new trend, Asian school students as young as 16 are being used by drug peddlers in New Zealand to illegally import drugs.
The cases have been increasing at an alarmingly rate, where students allowed their addresses to be used, or used another address for the drugs to be sent to, the process which earned them around 1000 dollars.
17-year-old Zhu Kuan, an Auckland Grammar School student, is the latest to be charged over the issue. He has been charged of importing the class C controlled drug Contact NT, which is sold legally over the counter in China, but in New Zealand- an illegal drug used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
These incidents have also prompted a heavy warning from the police to Asian students that they could be jailed and deported if they were involved in the drugs trade.
"We have a major problem with Asian organised crime groups using students as what are referred to as 'catchers' for the importation through the mail of Contact NT," Stuff.co.nz quoted Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Cahill, head of the Auckland drug squad, as saying.
"They retrieve it and it is then handed on to people higher up the chain. The catchers get paid for the job they do but the main risk they take is that they are the ones who get caught holding the importation and face serious drugs charges. Some of them quite understand the seriousness of what they are facing. They are being used by these organized crime groups who are committing very serious offences," he added.
He also informed that up to 10kg of these drugs were being seized each week at the borders and most of it was being brought in by students.
Concerned police is now trying to educate Asian communities on the dangers of getting involved in illegal drugs and the long-term effect a prison term would have on young people.