Raids see meth, $380K, houses, guns, cars seized

The New Zealand Herald - - News - Zizi Sparks

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.

Anaru Pe­whairangi

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