Two New Zealanders face up to four years in a US jail after being caught with nearly 6kg of cocaine aboard a cruise ship in San Francisco.
Auckland businessman Tony Wilkinson, 42, and his girlfriend, Kirsty Harris, 25, from the Bay of Plenty, appeared in a San Francisco court where they were convicted of drug smuggling, TVNZ reported on Friday (NZT). The pair were aboard the cruise ship Aurora, which had docked in San Francisco in January, when customs officials found 7kg of cocaine in the cabin of Australian Ahmed Rachid. Rachid led the officials to the New Zealand pair, who tried to block the door and flush their drug paraphernalia down the toilet, before the door was broken down and the cocaine discovered. The nearly 6kg of the drug was worth $NZ2 million. US officials would not say where the cocaine came from or where it was going. Wilkinson has previously owned two Auckland bars on Ponsonby Road, and has business links to Colombia. The couple have been remanded in custody. The judge says they each face between three and four years in prison.