Drug mak­ers tar­get chemists

Ev­ery week the South Waikato News delves into its ar­chives to see what was mak­ing the news 10, 25 and 50 years ago. This week we found sto­ries on drug buy­ers tar­get­ing the district, po­lice de­fus­ing gang ten­sions and a con­sta­ble tak­ing on a bank thief.

South Waikato News - - NEWS/OPINION -

10 years ago Drug buy­ers tar­get dis

trict De­cem­ber 18, 2002 Out of town­ers on drug buy­ing trips are tar­get­ing South Waikato chemists for their in­gre­di­ents.

The re­cent po­lice crack­down on pseu­doephedrine shop­pers in Hamil­ton has seen the net­work move fur­ther afield and as far as the South Is­land.

An in­gre­di­ent in hayfever tablets, pseu­doephedrine is used for mak­ing the party drug speed.

Pu­taruru phar­ma­cist Richard Hes­lop said he’d had a num­ber of cus­tomers want­ing to buy hayfever tablets.

‘‘We have had peo­ple driv- ing through Pu­taruru who are part of an or­gan­ised net­work,’’ Mr Hes­lop said.

‘‘They find out which chemists are a ‘soft touch’ and then tell oth­ers.

In some cases to avoid sus­pi­cion ‘lit­tle old ladies’ are be­ing used to buy the tablets and were mak­ing lots of money in the process, he said.

Pur­chas­ing pseu­doephedrine tablets over the counter had be­come more dif­fi­cult how­ever, with the buyer hav­ing to pro­duce photo iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and their ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion and de­tails faxed to po­lice.

Mr Hes­lop, who is the New Zealand Phar­macy Guild pres­i­dent, said this move had seen a down­turn in the trade, how­ever, phar­macy whole­sale dis­trib­u­tors had be­come a tar­get for bur­glars and chemist shop work­ers were on-sell­ing the tablets.

Mr Hes­lop said he pre­ferred to keep min­i­mal stocks in his store and only sold to peo­ple he knew.

Although this dis­ad­van­taged gen­uine buy­ers, he felt this was the best way to stop drug buy­ers from re­turn­ing.

25 years ago Gang fric­tion is de­fused

July 21, 1987 Po­lice have moved to defuse a grow­ing rift be­tween gang fac­tions at Toko­roa.

They ex­e­cuted search war­rants at two houses last week­end and made a to­tal of three ar­rests – in­clud­ing two re­lat­ing to pos­ses­sion of an of­fen­sive weapon.

The raids were car­ried out on Stan­ley Street and Baird Road.

One con­tains the head­quar­ters of the Mangu Kaha gang, the other the house of its leader.

The Ro­torua Team Po­lice Unit and the Armed Of­fend­ers Squad were brought to the South Waikato for the ex­er­cise, the sec­ond raid on gang head­quar­ters in as many week­ends.

Two men


be­ing ar­rested for be­ing armed with crim­i­nal in­tent af­ter they were found in a car in the drive way of the Stan­ley Street house, al­legedly in pos­ses­sion of a loaded fire arm and a pis­tol.

A third man was ar­rested in Baird Road and charged with pos­sess­ing cannabis for sup­ply.

Po­lice op­posed bail for all three men when they ap­peared in court at Ro­torua on Satur­day.

50 years ago Con­sta­ble dis­played ex­cep­tional zeal and cour

age June 7, 1962 An armed man en­tered the Bank of New South Wales, Toko­roa on Fe­bru­ary 13 and held up the staff.

As he was leav­ing the build­ing he was tack­led by Con­sta­ble D M Lye of Toko­roa.

Con­sta­ble Lye was un­armed at the time.

Last week, he was pre­sented with the Cer­tifi­cate of Merit by Chief In­spec­tor W Ritchie, of­fi­cer in charge of the Hamil­ton Po­lice District.

The ci­ta­tion read, ‘‘For dis­play­ing ex­cep­tional zeal and courage in ap­pre­hend­ing a crim­i­nal in the act of com­mit­ting an armed hold-up of the Bank of New South Wales, Toko­roa.

Con­sta­ble Lye’s de­ter­mi­na­tion and courage was in ac­cord with the high tra­di­tions of the po­lice.

TAR­GETED: Pu­taruru chemist Richard Hes­lop with one type of the highly sought af­ter hayfever tablets.

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