A combined Police, Customs and Corrections operation has busted a major Chinese-linked drugs importation ring.
In a statement the three agencies say Operation Web, which began in January, will on September 22 see 12 people in the North Shore District Court charged over the importation and distribution of controlled and precursor drugs in New Zealand by a well organised group of criminals.
Eight of the arrested people are inmates of Auckland Prison and Spring Hill Correction Facility in the Waikato and two are women.
They say they have seized significant quantities of precursor chemicals.
Police said they executed 20 search warrants in Auckland.
Operation Commander Detective Inspector Steve Wood says Operation Web will cause significant disruption to the manufacture of methamphetamine and other illegal drugs in the North Island.
The arrested people will face a wide range of drug related charges, including the manufacture and supply of Class A drugs, and the importation of precursor chemicals.
“During the six month operation, Customs and Police seized significant volumes of precursor chemicals for the manufacture of methamphetamine,” Wood said.
Customs intercepted 20 kilograms of Contac NT, a Class C controlled drug used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Originating in China, most of the Contac NT had come in parcels through the International Mail Centre near Auckland Airport.
Some had also come in courier mail parcels.
Customs Drug Investigations Manage, Bill Perry, said 20 kilograms of Contac NT could be turned into about five kilos of methamphetamine.
“Customs had had a large team involved today also, including two detector dogs, a specialist search team, and nine drug investigators,” Mr Perry said.
Mr Wood said Police went into Paremoremo and Spring Hill Prison this morning.
“Selected cells at both these locations were systematically searched and a number of identified prisoners assisted police.”
- Fairfax Media