Raids tied to drugs

Last updated 11:53 06/05/2014

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Police have searched Nelson properties linked to a methamphetamine ring in Auckland.

Police arrested eight people yesterday after a lengthy investigation into the manufacture and supply of methamphetamine in the Auckland region.

The investigation, code named Operation Genoa, led to the seizing of over $3m in assets including a Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati, a 30 foot launch, five properties, gold bullion, silver ingots and more than $2m in cash yesterday.

In total police recovered about half a kilogram of methamphetamine and 6kg of precursor drugs and chemicals, with a combined street value of more than $3.5m.

Police said the bust followed a lengthy investigation into the manufacture and supply of methamphetamine in the Auckland region.

Detective Inspector Bruce Good said 29 search warrants were executed at properties in Auckland, Waikato and Nelson during the day.

Good said the seizure of significant assets was "particularly satisfying".

One of the suspects escaped during the raid on a rural property in Miranda, in Waikato, but was caught 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 at the scene and later taken to Auckland Hospital for treatment where he remained.

He was expected to be released into custody either later today or tomorrow.

The eight suspects arrested 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.

Two of those apprehended were senior patched members of the Head Hunters gang.

Good said the group was running a "sophisticated methamphetamine manufacturing operation".

Police believed the suspects, many of who had family connections, were using several addresses and storage units in Auckland, rural South Auckland 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.

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

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