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New Zealand authorities believe 4kg of MDMA was flushed down a toilet

It was discovered after a “spike” in the amount of the drug was found in Auckland wastewater system

  • Words: Isaac Muk | Photo: Kripos_NCIS
  • 14 December 2022
New Zealand authorities believe 4kg of MDMA was flushed down a toilet

Authorities in New Zealand believe that someone flushed 4kg of MDMA AKA ecstasy, worth an estimated NZD $1.7 million (£880,000) down a toilet in Central Auckland.

It comes after an unusual “spike” of the MDMA levels in the area’s wastewater system was found in earlier this year in May, according to Stuff.

Police believe that the drugs were dumped, as the testing showed not increase in MDMA metabolites – by-products created when the body breaks down the drug.

Read this next: How New Zealand beat COVID and got back to raving

The news was revealed in an August police briefing to the Police Minister Chris Hipkins. It read: “In an unusual occurrence, a large proportion of MDMA detected at the central Auckland site (approximately 4kg) was likely the result of a dumping event where product had entered the sewer network without being consumed.”

New Zealand Police often use wastewater testing to determine an estimate of amount of drugs that have been consumed by the population.

In the second quarter of 2022 (April-June), on top of the unusual spike, a police report found that MDMA consumption was up by 59% compared to the previous three quarters, with an average of 8.5kg being consumed in a week compared to 5.4kg on average previously.

Read this next: Man took "40,000 ecstasy pills over nine years" and survived, according to resurfaced report

The same trend of increased drug use was also seen in the consumption of methamphetamine AKA crystal meth (up 8%) and cocaine (up 17%).

Last year, New Zealand became the first country in the world to create legislation that fully legalised the testing of recreational drug testing.

After a successful pilot programme, the move allowed people to test their drugs at music festivals and purchase testing kits so that are able to test their drugs without fear of repercussions.

Isaac Muk is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter

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