Mas­sive meth­bust nets mob mem­bers

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - JOHN WEEKES, JARED NI­COLL AND VIR­GINIA FAL­LON.

Up to $1.2 mil­lion worth of metham­phetamine is off the streets fol­low­ing last week’s po­lice raids of Welling­ton prop­er­ties.

Porirua Mon­grel Mob mem­bers were tar­geted in the four-month po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion, re­sult­ing in the Tues­day and Wednesday raids that net­ted at least $450,000 in cash.

Sev­eral prop­er­ties in the north­ern sub­urb of Tawa were searched, with drugs, 10 firearms, and two stolen mo­tor­bikes worth about $30,000 found. Raids were also car­ried out in the East Auck­land sub­urb of How­ick, and two peo­ple sus­pected of sup­ply­ing the mob with im­ported meth ar­rested.

Thir­teen peo­ple were ar­rested af­ter the op­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing two in Auck­land, and face metham­phetamine re­lated-charges. A total of 150 po­lice of­fi­cers were in­volved – 120 in the Welling­ton op­er­a­tions.

Po­lice used un­der­cover of­fi­cers and bugged gang mem­bers ahead of early morn­ing raids that net­ted firearms, drugs and a grenade.

Locked safes con­tain­ing ’’sev­eral elec­tronic items’’ would be ex­am­ined by ex­perts, a spokesman said.

Un­der­cover op­er­a­tions boss De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Mike Arner­ich said po­lice were ‘‘ec­static’’ with the haul, which was the big­gest he had known in 40 years of polic­ing.

The mob’s cus­tomers were thought to come from ‘‘ev­ery so­cioe­co­nomic class’’, he said.

Po­lice would tell the courts that the mob dis­trib­uted about 20 kilo­grams of meth in greater Welling­ton over the past 6-9 months, Arner­ich added.

A Lin­den prop­erty kept un­der sur­veil­lance had ‘‘hun­dreds of vis­its’’ from sus­pected cus­tomers, De­tec­tive Se­nior Sergeant Tim Leitch said.

The house had sur­veil­lance cam­eras, alarms, and re­in­forced doors.

The op­er­a­tion re­sulted in po­lice re­strain­ing hold­ing as­sets in­clud­ing a Mercedes-Benz, a launch, and a con­tainer house near the Firth of Thames, bring- ing the total value of as­sets re­strained in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to an es­ti­mated $2.3m.

In Porirua Dis­trict Court, four peo­ple faced charges in­clud­ing sup­ply­ing metham­phetamine, cul­ti­va­tion of cannabis and pos­ses­sion of the syn­thetic drug N-bomb.

A 46-year-old man fac­ing 31 charges was re­manded in cus­tody. Two men, 44 and 23, were also re­manded in cus­tody, and a woman aged 40 was granted bail.

All four were granted name sup­pres­sion un­til April 19 and will reap­pear in court later this month.

Po­lice carry on their search of a house on Tre­me­wan St, Tawa, fol­low­ing a mas­sive drugs raid.

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