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February 10, 2011 - 2:59PM
Australian bikies have been caught up in a major crackdown on organised crime in New Zealand's North Island.
The operation, involving about 150 police officers, led to the arrests of 30 people and 29 vehicles, over $NZ120,000 ($A90,000) in cash, firearms, computers, drugs and drug precursors were seized.
Members of Australia's largest motorcycle gang - The Rebels - were caught up in the operation on Thursday, police said.
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The gang have been trying to set up chapters in New Zealand and police were doing all they could to ensure they didn't get a foothold in the country.
"Today is a bad day to be a criminal drug dealer," NZ Police Minister Judith Collins said at a press conference on Thursday.
"The number of gangs involved shows they are putting aside their differences and working together in what is a highly lucrative, but evil drugs franchise."
Auckland police sent more than a dozen patched Rebels members back to Australia after they arrived at Auckland Airport on January 26.
The gang was formed in 1969 and has since grown across Australia, to now have around 2000 members in 70 chapters.
© 2011 AAP