Drug em­pire made $5m a year

The New Zealand Herald - - News -

Al­bert St in Otahuhu was once the home of a drug em­pire which was mak­ing $35,000 a week.

Abra­ham Whare­waka snr, who set up the Sindi chap­ter of Black Power in 1978, led the en­ter­prise.

He used gov­ern­ment fund­ing for work schemes to build a 12-unit hous­ing pro­ject on Al­bert St and a 1214ha fac­tory in East Ta­maki. The projects earned ap­proval from the high­est places — Prime Min­is­ter Sir Robert Mul­doon gave his sup­port.

But along­side the work schemes, Whare­waka snr used the fac­tory to pre­pare cannabis and meth and the Al­bert St units to sell them. At its peak, it made $5 mil­lion a year.

The drug ring in Otahuhu was shut down in 2003. Whare­waka snr was jailed for eight years for mak­ing P, cul­ti­vat­ing cannabis and be­long­ing to an or­gan­ised crime group. He was re­leased from jail after five years.

Abra­ham Whare­waka jnr was sen­tenced to 22 months in jail in 2005 for be­ing part of an or­gan­ised crime group and pos­sess­ing a loaded pis­tol. The judge called their sophisi­cated op­er­a­tion “vi­sion­ary”.

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