Corrections says there’s “no evidence” a drug-addicted prison officer – who’s now jailed for his part in a cocaine smuggling plot – ever failed a workplace drug test.

Stuff revealed that Allison Dos Santos was involved in a plot with the Mexican De Jalisco Nueva​ Generation (CJNG) cartel to smuggle in 200kg of cocaine – what would have been the second-largest importation into New Zealand.

He was jailed for four years after earlier pleading guilty to one charge of importing cocaine and two charges of possessing cocaine for supply.

It emerged at Dos Santos’s April sentencing that he had worked as a prison officer while addicted to the Class A drug.

Defence lawyer Maria Mortimer said he was a prison officer for two years but “got to a point where he couldn’t carry on [with] the drug use at the time”.

Corrections uses mandatory pre-employment drug testing, its website says, and “a clear drug test is required before employment can be confirmed”.

Stuff questioned Corrections about Dos Santos’s case and a statement from regional manager Sean Mason said “we have no evidence to suggest that this person failed any test required of them”.

Mason said Corrections employs around 10,000 staff, and “the overwhelming majority of our people act with integrity, honesty and professionalism”.

“Our clear expectation is that staff uphold the standards of behaviour in our Code of Conduct, and comply with the law,” Mason said.

“We demand a high standard of conduct and integrity from all employees, and if any staff don’t meet the standards required we take action.”

Mason also said staff can be tested for drugs in the wake of accidents, on reasonable cause grounds or if they occupy “safety sensitive” roles.