I would like to again extend my appreciation and thanks to the Brazil Federal Police and other authorities in Brazil for their assistance and co-operation in the return of Phillip Smith to New Zealand.
Today's developments come after a sustained effort by our liaison officer Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett to ensure that Smith ended up back where he should be - behind bars in a New Zealand prison.
He has worked tirelessly with the authorities in Brazil to ensure that we complied fully with the requirements of their process. It has been a complex task but that work has paid off today.
Mike's presence on the ground in Brazil is a first hand demonstration of the value of the nine New Zealand Police liaison officers around the world. They ensure we maintain the excellent relationships we need within the global law enforcement community.
I would also like to extend my thanks to our partner agencies including Interpol, MFAT, Department of Corrections, The New Zealand Customs Service, Crown Law and the Ministry of Justice for their support and assistance.
I hope Phillip Smith's return to prison in New Zealand will bring some comfort to his victims, who have endured the trauma of knowing he was at large when he should not have been.