Wellington police used undercover officers and bugged gang members ahead of a massive raid, which netted firearms, drugs and about $400,000 in cash.
Several Porirua properties were searched on Tuesday morning, with about $400,000 in cash seized, 10 firearms, and two stolen motorbikes estimated to be worth around $30,000, police said in a statement.
A number of safes were also found at the properties, but had not yet been opened.
Stuff understands some of the raids were in the suburb of Linden, in Tawa, about 6.55am.
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A witness said about a dozen police cars, as well as Armed Offenders Squad members, were at one house and he heard screaming, dogs barking, hammering and the sound of power tools.
Six people were arrested after the operation, including two in Auckland, and face methamphetamine related-charges. Police said these arrests followed an investigation targeting the supply and distribution of methamphetamine in the region by members of the Porirua Mongrel Mob, police said.
They said “a range of tactics” were used in the investigation, including listening devices and “the infiltration of the gang by undercover officers”.
Police said assets worth about $1.8 million had been netted, including two residential properties, 13 vehicles, two boats, and a jet-ski.
Detective Inspector Mike Arnerich said about 20kg of methamphetamine had been seized. He put a value of $25 million on the drugs, based on estimates from the Drug Harm Index.
The people arrested in Wellington were three men, aged 46, 44, and 23, and a 40-year-old woman.
They were scheduled to appear in the Porirua District Court on Tuesday afternoon on a range of methamphetamine-related charges, including supplying a Class A drug, possession to supply a Class A drug, and conspiracy to supply a Class A drug.
In Auckland, two people, a 48-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman, were set to appear in the Manukau District Court.
The six arrested face 56 charges all up.
“This morning’s arrests will have a major impact on the supply chain in the wider Wellington region, as well as the distribution network in Auckland,” Arnerich said in the statement. “The monetary value of the methamphetamine supply uncovered by this investigation is significant, but the social cost of this drug to our communities is much, much higher. “We’ve shown today that Police will use everything in our power to dismantle and destroy drug dealing syndicates, and prevent the social cost methamphetamine inflicts on our families and communities.”