Drugs, cash, cars seized in raid
Eight people have been arrested and seven appeared in court today, following a methamphetamine bust on properties in Auckland, Waikato and Nelson.
A bedside hearing was held for an eighth person who was being treated in hospital for dog bites.
Police say they interrupted a methamphetamine cook when they raided five properties yesterday, seizing $3.5 million worth of drugs and about $3m in assets.
Those charged include senior patched Head Hunter members Michael Joseph Cavanagh, 40, and David Gerrard O'Carroll, 49, two other men and four women aged between 25 and 51.
Police said today they recovered about half a kilogram of methamphetamine and 6kg of precursor drugs and chemicals, with a combined street value of more than $3.5m, and seized more than $3m in assets including a Ferrari, Porsche, and Maserati, a 30-foot launch, five properties, gold bullion, silver ingots, firearms and more than $2m in cash.
The bust followed a nine-month investigation code-named Operation Genoa and saw 31 search warrants executed at the properties, Detective Inspector Bruce Good said.
One of the suspects escaped during the raid on a rural property in Miranda, in the eastern Waikato, but was found in a ditch less than two hours later with the help of police dogs, Good said.
The suspect suffered minor dog-bite injuries during his capture and was treated by ambulance staff and later taken to Auckland Hospital for treatment. He was expected to be released into custody either later today or tomorrow.
The eight people would face a range of charges including manufacturing methamphetamine, money laundering, unlawful possession of a restricted weapon, obtaining a false documents and participating in an organised criminal group, he said.
Police believed the group were using several addresses and storage units in Auckland, Waikato and Nelson to produce, store and distribute methamphetamine and the Class B drug ephedrine.
Intelligence indicated the group were producing more than $1m worth of methamphetamine at a time, which gave an indication as to the size of the market they were supplying, Good said.
"The size and scale of the manufacturing is very concerning," he said.
Operation Genoa showed the size and scale of organised crime, the size of the market and the involvement of gangs, he said.
The money would be put into the public account until the court decided what to do with it and the rest of the assets, he said.