‘Breaking Bad’ inspired drug labs discovered in New Zealand

Wellington, Sep 24 (IANS) Fully functional methamphetamine labs set up in the backs of cars and vans inspired by the hit TV dark crime drama “Breaking Bad” have been found increasingly in New Zealand, the media reported on Thursday.

According to reports, while the series characters Walter White and Jesse Pinkman used a brown and orange-striped 1980s recreational vehicle (RV) as a mobile lab, meth clean-up and testing companies said New Zealand’s portable labs come in many different forms, including a boot of an old police car, Radio New Zealand reported.

“A whole range – campervans, trailers, hired vehicles, stolen vehicles, across the board – these guys don’t care what they put it in really,” an investigating official said.

He said a police crackdown on the manufacture of the drug, and the hefty sentences handed out to those caught, had led to drug makers taking their labs out of houses.

“What these guys used to do is they had everything in the one property so when the police raided it, they lost everything. So now what they tend to do is they mix it somewhere else and cook it somewhere else, so if one area gets busted then they only use one link in the chain and not the whole chain,” he said.

He said there has been quite a few cases in Waikato where cars have been found with methamphetamine labs in them.

He said the majority of the labs involved stolen vehicles and some type of cylinder used to cook the drug.

Some of the cars included fully functional meth labs, while others carried the chemicals and equipment separately and drove to a property or remote location to make the drug.

Miles Stratford, director of MethSolutions, said mobile meth labs made it harder for authorities to find the drug makers.

In the American drama series, the characters — White, a struggling high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with lung cancer and Pinkman, White’s former student — starts producing and selling crystallised methamphetamine in the back of an RV, driving around the country.

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