Three arrested, drugs and firearms seized, as Police and Customs disrupt illegal activity
02.13pm 17 May 2023 | News
A myriad of illegal drugs have been seized and three men are facing the Court as Police execute a series of search warrants targeting a drug syndicate smuggling and distributing the substances.
Police this week executed search warrants at ten properties across Tāmaki Makaurau, including in Auckland City and on the North Shore.
More than five firearms, quantities of drugs including methamphetamine, MDMA, ephedrine, and 50 kilograms of iodine, alleged to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, were seized during the searches.
Detective Inspector Thomas Gollan, National Organised Crime Group, says the warrants are part of a wider investigation, dubbed Operation Beaver, which has targeted what Police allege is an organised crime group run by foreign nationals.
Police allege the group were responsible for organising the import of a significant quantity of illegal drugs into New Zealand.
The total alleged is in the vicinity of 220 kilograms, consisting of methamphetamine, MDMA, ephedrine, and iodine.
This is based on seizures at the New Zealand border and overseas, as well as through documentation located throughout the course of the investigation.
Detective Inspector Gollan says these arrests provide a blow to organised crime in New Zealand.
“Allied with the discovery and seizure of the firearms at these persons’ addresses, it is a major win.
“It again demonstrates the value of our partnerships with NZ Customs and overseas agencies to disrupt and dismantle trans-national organised crime.”
Customs’ Investigations Manager, Cam Moore, said he was pleased Customs was able to support the Police in stopping such a significant level of criminal activity and cut off millions of dollars of potential profits going to those behind this criminal syndicate.
“This is another solid success combining the skills and expertise of Police, Customs and our international partners to disrupt a transnational organised crime group’s substantial efforts to exploit New Zealand for their own criminal gains,” Cam Moore said.
Three men, aged between 35 and 40, have been arrested and charged with a raft of offences including the importation of Class A and B controlled drugs, money laundering, and the unlawful possession of a firearm.
All three have appeared in the Auckland District Court today.
Detective Inspector Gollan says as there are a number of enquiries yet to be completed, Police cannot rule out further arrests and charges.
“However as this matter is now before the Court, we are limited in further comment.”