Ghost bust in East

Last updated 05:00 11/12/2013
P Bust
BIG HAUL: Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess speaks in front of the seized ContacNT, enough to make $100 million of P

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Properties in Flat Bush and Highland Park have been caught up in Operation Ghost drug raids.

Police say the 18-month investigation that culminated this month is the biggest haul of its kind in New Zealand.

Together with the Organised and Financial Crime Agency they have seized $120 million in drugs and assets.

This includes 330 kilograms of the Class B drug ContactNT, which could be remanufactured to make $100 million of the Class A methamphetamine.

The eastern suburbs properties were two of three raided in October, when four people were arrested and 267kg of the ContacNT was seized.

Two hundred and fifty police officers executed another 40 search warrants across Auckland and Waikato on the morning of December 4, arresting another 24 people.

Police cannot yet say whether the latest raids include properties in East Auckland.

Customs Minister and Pakuranga MP Maurice Williamson says the drug bust sends a strong message to the criminal community that "we will dismantle their vile operations".

"This Government is determined to cripple drug syndicates and put them out of business," he says.

Ministers were not told of the operation's details until the last minute.

"You have to keep this stuff exceedingly tight, because if it starts to leak out then individuals involved will go to ground very quickly."

Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess says the impact on the drug market is likely to be significant.

"Operation Ghost sends a powerful message to the criminal community that we will use every legal avenue at our disposal to target organised crime in New Zealand."

The operation was a multi-agency investigation that included help from Chinese law enforcement agencies.

- Fairfax NZ News

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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