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One of the biggest hauls of opium ever made in Auckland was effected by a Customs officer when he accosted a Chinese cook employed on an overseas ship as he was leaving Central wharf this morning.

This was disclosed in the Police Court later when Shun Hang Fook appeared before Mr. S. I. Goodall, S.M., and pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully importing into New Zealand 51b of prepared opium.

The plea was made through the Rev. Y. S. Chau, Chinese missioner, of Auckland.

Prosecuting for the Collector of Customs, Mr. G. S. R. Meredith said Mr. Henry William Hill, a preventive officer employed by His Mapesty's Customs, accosted Fook on the wharf at 8.35 this morning, when he was about 25 yards from the main gate. The Chinese was carrying an overcoat over his arm. When Mr. Hill asked Fook if he could search his overcoat Fook refused and offered him a bribe of £100. Mr. Hill then said: "What have you got? Opium?" The Chinese replied "Yes." When a search was made 51b of opium was found in Fook's possession.

"This is by far the biggest quantity of opium found, in this city for many years," added Mr. Meredith. "Fook said he acquired the opium at Bombay. When his cabin on the ship was searched a further 31b of prepared opium was found, but this is not subject to any charge. The penalty under the Dangerous Drugs Act for this offence provides for a maximum fine of £500 or twelve months' imprisonment, or both fine and imprisonment. Upon conviction the minimum fine must be one quarter of the maximum. This is regarded as a very serious offence of its type."

Through the interpreter Fook asked for'the leniency of a small fine, otherwise he would have to go to gaol.

The magistrate imposed a fine of £125 and ordered immediate payment, in default two months' imprisonment.

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Bibliographic details

OPIUM HAUL, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 172, 23 July 1945

Word Count

OPIUM HAUL Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 172, 23 July 1945

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