Four men have been charged with drug manufacturing offences after a suspected methamphetamine lab was found in Manaia.
Coromandel Town police went to an address in Manaia on Tuesday around lunchtime and found three men in a double garage with evidence of a functioning drug lab.
Two weapons were also found, one of them a pump-action shotgun. Police took the three men out of the garage and contained the property while they waited for the clandestine laboratory team to arrive.
''Methamphetamine labs are very dangerous,'' said Thames-Coromandel sub-area police manager Senior Sergeant Graham Shields.
While they were waiting, the lab caught fire and a fourth suspect ran out.
The garage was ''full of stuff,'' Sgt Shields said and the man had hidden.
The Coromandel fire brigade was already there - it's standard procedure to bring them along when a drug lab is being investigated, said Sgt Shields.
They had the fire out within a couple of minutes. As of Thursday morning, the clandestine lab team was still investigating the property.
Sgt Shields said they had found ''evidence establishing it's a methamphetamine lab''.
Two of the men charged are from the Coromandel-Manaia area, one is from Morrinsville and the other is from Otara.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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