Lifestyle & Belief

New Zealand: Mysterious packages sent to South Islanders


Good will gesture or dry run for drug smugglers? Police are baffled by the four parcels sent from Paris to households on New Zealand's South Island.


Sean Gallup

Four households on the remote west coast of New Zealand's South Island have received mysterious packages containing either a hair dryer or hair clippers and a wad of cash.

Associated Press reports that police are mystified by the packages, which have been sent from different parts of the French capital Paris and arrived in the last two weeks.

Two of the packages came with identical handwritten notes that read: "Thanks for being a true friend," and either 100 New Zealand dollars (US$78) or 100 euros (US$128).

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"Love you, hate the hair?" the Fort Frances Times joke, joining international speculation about the motives for the gesture.

Police initially believed the packages were "simply a goodwill gesture," News 24 says, however they have since asked Interpol to investigate out of concern they could be part of a test to launder money or traffic drugs.

The Guardian's newspaper New Zealand correspondent quotes Senior Sergeant Allyson Ealam as saying: "Maybe they have come from someone who won the lottery over there. Or it could be that it's a nice prank."

She added that they had taken fingerprints and return addresses from the packages and were attempting to trace them back to the senders.

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