Police still searching for NZ man's body

Last updated 19:01 19/05/2014
Gordon Tearonui Hamm
ABDUCTED: Gordon Tearonui Hamm.

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Australia

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Australian police hoping to recover the remains of New Zealand-born drug dealer Gordon Tearonui Hamm have made a fresh appeal for information as two men await trail for his murder.

Homicide squad detectives returned to Mt Gambier in South Australia - where Taumarunui-born Hamm lived for about three years - today in renewed attempts to repatriate his remains with loved ones.

Hamm, 34, was last seen in Nelson, Victoria, 4 kilometres from the border with South Australia early on July 17 last year.

His body has never been found and he is presumed dead. 

Police allege the car Hamm was travelling in was boxed in by two four-wheel-drive vehicles on a bridge over the Glenelg; he was forced from the car and dragged to a nearby playground where he was beaten and shot.

Christopher Tippins, 29, and Mark Moreland, 35, were arrested eight days after Hamm's disappearance and charged with murder. They are scheduled to stand trial in the Melbourne Supreme Court this year.

Tai Thorp, 21, was also arrested in relation to Hamm's disappearance and faces charges of being an accessory and perverting the course of justice.

Details of the police case emerged in the Melbourne Magistrates Court in February when Thorp made an unsuccessful application for bail.

Samantha Porter, who was driving Hamm to his home in Mt Gambier, said Hamm was removed from the car at gunpoint and struck with the butt of a rifle.

The police allege Moreland, Tippins, and Thorp were involved in the distribution of the drug "ice" in Mt Gambier, 450km southeast of Adelaide.

Evidence presented to the magistrates court indicated Hamm owed drug debts to at least three groups of people - A$45,000 (NZ$48,700) to The Finks motorcycle gang, A$80,000 (NZ$86,000) to a three-man syndicate and A$12,000 (NZ$13,000) to a fellow New Zealander.

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- Fairfax Media

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