Drugs, cars, cash seized in raids

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 17:03 10/06/2014

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Police seized cash, drugs and cars from a Wairarapa property in early morning raids today that they say uncovered rival gangs running Wellington's methamphetamine trade together.

Seven people were arrested around the country this morning, including one man at a central city apartment in Wellington, which was stormed by armed police this morning. 

Police said today's arrests were the result of a year-long investigation into the capital's methamphetamine supply.

A patched Tribesman gang member, a Mongrel Mob associate, and a Highway 61 associate were among those arrested.

Five of those arrested were from the Wellington district including Porirua, one from Wairarapa and another from Auckland, a police spokesman said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Moore from the Organised Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand said police carried out 16 search warrants in Wellington, Porirua, Masterton and Auckland. 

A police spokesman said 150 grams of methamphetamine worth an estimated $150,000 in street value as well as cash and assets worth about $50k total was recovered from one Wairarapa property where a gang associate was arrested today.

They also seized vehicles including a Harley Davidson motorbike, a Chevrolet Corvette, and a Toyota Altezza from the same property.

OFCANZ had investigated and planned the raids, dubbed Operation Fantail, along with Wellington district police and specialist tactical groups.

"The termination of Operation Fantail shows that rival gang members are actively co-operating in the sale and supply of methamphetamine within the Wellington District and lower North Island," Moore said.

Three people appeared in Wellington District Court this afternoon in relation to the Wellington raid and one appeared in an Auckland court.

All three had their names suppressed until Friday so they could tell family of their arrest.

Each is charged with taking part in an organised criminal group contributing to the supply of methamphetamine.

A professional man, 53, faces one other charge of having methamphetamine for supply.

A woman, 20, also faces two charges of supplying the drug and one of having it for the purpose of supply.

A man, 21, also had four charges of supplying methamphetamine and one of having the drug for the purpose of supply.

Each was remanded on bail on conditions that include not associating with each other, surrendering their passports, and being curfewed to their home addresses between 7pm and 7am daily.

They are due to appear in court again on July 4. 

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Moore said today's raids would send a " powerful message to the criminal community."

- The Dominion Post

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