Four ar­rested, $1.6m in psy­choac­tive sub­stances seized

Otago Daily Times - - Court & General - ANNA LEASK

WEST Auck­land po­lice have ar­rested three peo­ple for al­legedly sup­ply­ing syn­thetic drugs used by peo­ple who have died as a re­sult of the sub­stances.

The three men ar­rested are aged 22, 30 and 33. They have all been charged with sell­ing/sup­ply­ing a psy­choac­tive sub­stance.

Po­lice have car­ried out search war­rants at two ad­dresses and re­cov­ered a small amount of what is sus­pected to be psy­choac­tive sub­stances.

Th­ese have been sent to ESR for test­ing.

‘‘Where po­lice be­lieve the sup­ply of the syn­thetic drug is linked to a death, we will look at the cul­pa­bil­ity of the sup­plier in re­gards to this,’’ De­tec­tive In­spec­tor John Sut­ton, of Waitem­ata Po­lice, said.

‘‘This will take some time and we are not in a po­si­tion to com­ment any fur­ther on this, for op­er­a­tional rea­sons.

Det Insp Sut­ton said an­other ‘‘sig­nif­i­cant’’ ar­rest had also been made in the war against syn­thet­ics.

Po­lice say they have seized prod­uct that would have had a street value of $1.5 mil­lion.

The first ar­rest came as part of Op­er­a­tion Tiger, which is an on­go­ing op­er­a­tion to tar­get the im­por­ta­tion of psy­choac­tive sub­stances.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion was ini­ti­ated af­ter Cus­toms seized a kilo­gram each of AMB­Fu­bi­naca and AB­Pi­naca, the psy­choac­tive sub­stances of­ten used to make syn­thetic drugs.

Po­lice worked in the back­ground and last month nine search war­rants were ex­e­cuted in Auck­land, Palmer­ston North and Christchurch.

‘‘Our most sig­nif­i­cant find was a stor­age unit in Rod­ney where 11kg of fin­ished syn­thetic drugs were found and an­other 1kg of AMB­Fu­bi­naca,’’ Det Insp Sut­ton said.

‘‘The 1kg lo­cated by po­lice and the 2kg by Cus­toms would be suf­fi­cient to man­u­fac­ture around 150kg of syn­thetic drugs. That’s ap­prox­i­mately 75,000 2g doses of the drug, which is worth a street value of $1.5 mil­lion.

‘‘The 11kg of fin­ished syn­thetic drugs lo­cated in the stor­age unit would have had an ap­prox­i­mate street value of $110,000.’’

A 58­year­old man was ar­rested yes­ter­day and charged with four counts of im­port­ing a psy­choac­tive sub­stance, pos­ses­sion of a psy­choac­tive sub­stance for sup­ply and man­u­fac­tur­ing a psy­choac­tive sub­stance.

He will ap­pear in the North Shore District Court on Wed­nes­day.

Det Insp Sut­ton said Op­er­a­tion Tiger was on­go­ing and po­lice could not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of fur­ther ar­rests as in­quiries con­tin­ued.

He urged the com­mu­nity to con­tact the po­lice with any in­for­ma­tion on drug sup­pli­ers. — NZME

Crimestop­pers 0800­555­111.

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