MONEY HAUL: In excess of $2 million in cash was
seized by police following an investigation into the manufacture
and supply of methamphetamine in the Auckland region.
Eight suspects have been arrested and more than $3.5
million worth of drugs were recovered following a methamphetamine bust
on properties in Auckland, Waikato and Nelson.
The investigation, code named Operation Genoa, led to
the seizing of over $3m in assets including a Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati,
a 30 foot launch, five properties, gold bullion, silver ingots and more
than $2m in cash yesterday.
In total police recovered about half a kilogram of
methamphetamine and 6kg of precursor drugs and chemicals, with a
combined street value of more than $3.5m.
Police said the bust followed a lengthy investigation
into the manufacture and supply of methamphetamine in the Auckland
Detective Inspector Bruce Good said 29 search warrants
were executed at properties in Auckland, Waikato and Nelson during the
Good said the seizure of significant assets was
One of the suspects escaped during the raid on a rural
property in Miranda, in Waikato, but was caught less than two hours
later with the help of police dogs, Good said.
The suspect suffered minor dog bite injuries during
his capture and was treated by ambulance staff at the scene and later
taken to Auckland Hospital for treatment where he remained.
He was expected to be released into custody either
later today or tomorrow.
The eight suspects arrested would face a range of
charges including manufacturing methamphetamine, money laundering,
unlawful possession of a restricted weapon, obtaining a false documents
and participating in an organised criminal group.
Two of those apprehended were senior patched members
of the Head Hunters gang.
Good said the group was running a "sophisticated
methamphetamine manufacturing operation".
Police believed the suspects, many of who had family
connections, were using several addresses and storage units in Auckland,
rural South Auckland and Nelson to produce, store and distribute
methamphetamine and the Class B drug ephedrine.
Intelligence indicated the group were producing more
than $1m worth of methamphetamine at a time which gave an indication as
to the size of the market they were supplying, Good said.
"Operation Genoa sends another powerful message to the
criminal community that police will use every legal avenue at our
disposal to target organised crime in New Zealand."