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Police seize large quantity of psychoactive substances

10.55am 10 August 2017 | News

Police have seized a large quantity of psychoactive substances, including more than 10 kgs of synthetic cannabis, following nationwide raids as part of Operation Tiger.

Waitemata Police, with assistance from Palmerston North and Christchurch Police, executed search warrants at nine addresses this morning searching for psychoactive substances.

The warrants were executed in the Auckland suburbs of Henderson, Glendene and Red Beach, with further warrants taking place in Clarkville, North Canterbury and in the Christchurch suburbs of Hornby and St Albans.

Two more search warrants were also executed in Palmerston North. Police also located four firearms during today’s warrants.

This investigation began in June and centred on the interception by NZ Customs of more than a kilogram of AMB-Fubinaca and AB-Pinaca - the psychoactive substances used in the manufacture of synthetic cannabis.

Today’s operation follows further search warrants by Waitemata Police in Rodney last week where 2 kgs of AMB-Fubinaca, along with 11 kgs of synthetic cannabis were seized.

The 3 kgs of AMB-Fubinaca and AB-Pinaca seized during this operation would be sufficient to manufacture 150 kgs of synthetic cannabis - worth a street value of $1.5 million.

A 48-year-old male from Glendene will be appearing in the Waitakere District Court on charges relating to possession of a firearm and ammunition as well as possession of a Class “A” drug.

Police are waiting for the test results from samples of the psychoactive substances seized which have been sent for analysis and anticipate further charges being laid as enquiries continue.

“We will do everything we can to hold those responsible for manufacturing psychoactive substances to account,” says Acting Detective Inspector Roger Small.

“This is only the tipping point and Police are continuing to conduct enquiries around psychoactive substances. We are confident that further arrests will come as we continue to investigate this serious issue.”

Customs Intelligence Manager Wei-Jiat Tan says seizures made at the border are a good indication of new and emerging drugs, and Customs shares this with partners to disrupt production and supply in the regions.

“Chemical properties of psychoactive drugs are ever evolving and potentially lethal – especially if amateurs are producing them.

“These drugs can be life threatening for users, who have no way of knowing what they’re really taking. It’s not worth the risk,” says Mr Tan.

This investigation follows on from the good work Waitemata Police have had working with NZ Customs on Operation Tiger, which saw 13 people facing the courts earlier this year following the seizure of more than half a million dollars’ worth of Class “A” and “B” drugs that were imported into New Zealand through the International Mail Centre.

Police encourage anyone with information about drugs or other criminal offending to contact your local Police station or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“Synthetic cannabis is a highly dangerous drug causing significant harm to our community and anyone using it is potentially putting their life in danger,” says Acting Detective Inspector Small.

“If you, or someone you know, is using synthetic cannabis, we urge you to stop immediately and seek help if needed by contacting your local GP or by ringing the Alcohol and Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797 or text 8681 7 days a week to speak to a trained counsellor.”