Raids see meth, $380K, houses, guns, cars seized
About $420,000 worth of methamphetamine and $380,000 in cash and assets have been seized by police in raids on gang-related operations which saw four people arrested.
During the operation overnight to Thursday, Rotorua police, the National Organised Crime Group and the National Asset Recovery Unit executed search warrants in Rotorua and Auckland in relation to the alleged sale and supply of methamphetamine.
Rotorua police also worked with iwi under the guidance and korowai of Te Pukenga Koeke O Te Arawa.
Rotorua area commander Inspector Anaru Pewhairangi said police seized hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of drugs and possessions in both Auckland and Rotorua.
Police seized six houses, one in Rotorua, three firearms, a 30-tonne digger, a recreational fishing boat, four highend vehicles and a classic car, and $40,000 cash as well as at least 425 grams of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $420,000.
Excluding the houses and drugs, the items seized had an estimated $380,000 to $400,000 value.
Pewhairangi said investigations and searches were ongoing.
Detective Senior Sergeant Eddie Sutherland of the National Organised Crime Group said the investigation had been long-running and targeted an organised crime group which included patched Head Hunters.
“Our message is simple: if you sell drugs, you can expect to be caught and face significant time in prison.”
Sutherland said police believed Head Hunters had been trying to establish a presence in Rotorua.
The four people arrested during the raids appeared in person in the Rotorua District Court yesterday and were remanded in custody without plea to reappear on January 15.
Ngongotaha¯ man Paul Tamai, 56, appeared first.
His 10 charges related to offering, supplying and possessing methamphetamine in November and December this year.
A woman appeared and was granted interim name suppression by Judge Tony Snell.
Her two charges relate to money laundering, in connection with the alleged methamphetamine ring, between April 2015 and December this year.
Ngongotaha¯ man Dick Dekin Tamai, 39, the son of Paul, appeared on 19 charges covering possession of firearms last month, as well as possessing, offering to supply, and supplying methamphetamine in October, November, and December this year.
Auckland childcare worker Luther Lloyd Toleafoa, 40, appeared on more than 50 charges ranging from threatening grievous bodily harm last month, money laundering from April 2015 to December 2018, to possessing, offering to supply and supplying methamphetamine from April to August this year.
One of the cars seized after police with warrants found cash, drugs and assets.