Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Division of Customs Biosecurity officers confiscated 10 pounds (4,535.92 grams) of liquid methamphetamine disguised as lava lamps during an inspection at the U.S. Post Office in Chalan Kanoa, Saipan. The seizure, which has an estimated street value of over $1.8 million, was announced by CNMI Customs Director Jose C. Mafnas in a media conference on Thursday.
The discovery was made on September 23 when a customs officer noticed a suspicious package containing four lava lamps. Upon closer examination, the officer became concerned about the liquid inside the lamps. Using specialized equipment, Customs identified the liquid as methamphetamine.
Two packages, each containing four lava lamps, were intercepted. Both packages originated from the same sender on the U.S. mainland. This marks the first time Customs has intercepted liquid methamphetamine.
Two Chinese nationals have been arrested in connection with the seizure and are currently held at the CNMI Department of Corrections. Director Mafnas emphasized the importance of community vigilance and the collaborative efforts of local and federal partners in combating drug trafficking.
In addition to the recent seizure, Customs had previously confiscated two pounds of crystal methamphetamine on September 11. The total volume of methamphetamine seized in recent operations now amounts to 12 pounds.
Director Mafnas expressed gratitude to the governor, lieutenant governor, and the secretary of Finance for their support in equipping Customs to effectively secure the borders.