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Eight people have been arrested in a Police operation targeting a sophisticated methamphetamine and burglary ring operating across Canterbury.

Over the past two days Christchurch Police have executed a number of search warrants on properties in Christchurch and Loburn, North Canterbury, and have arrested eight people at this stage.

Two of those arrested have been released on bail, while the other six are appearing in the Christchurch District Court this afternoon charged with participating in an organised criminal group.

Two of these are also charged with possession of methamphetamine for supply.

Detective Inspector Greg Williams says it is anticipated that this group and others will be charged with a number of additional serious offences as the investigation continues.

Detective Inspector Williams says the operation came about after Police noted a significant upsurge in commercial burglaries in the Canterbury District since the beginning of this year.

“We have conducted this operation to identify and prosecute the persons responsible.

“It was evident from the investigation that there was a very professional group of individuals committing these burglaries.

“The group was targeting premises which contained expensive tools, computer and electronic equipment and expensive motor vehicles, as well as cash. They also targeted Subway outlets, restaurants, bakeries and other retail outlets where safes were targeted for cash.

“To date more than 40 commercial burglaries have been attributed to this group. The total value of the property stolen is around $800,000.”

Detective Inspector Williams says it will be alleged that those arrested are part of an organised crime group that is not only responsible for this series of burglaries, but also for widespread dealing in methamphetamine and the sale and growing of cannabis.

“Four of these people are from one family. The investigation has established that they are either members of, or closely associated with, motorcycle gangs both here and in Auckland.

“A significant amount of stolen property linked to the commercial burglaries has been recovered from multiple addresses, including computer equipment, electric items, and tools.

“At a Hornby address, Police located 7.8 ounces of crystal methamphetamine, $50,000 in cash and a shotgun, in addition to a quantity of stolen property.

“One of those arrested was apprehended at Hornby Mall yesterday morning with 36 grams of methamphetamine located in a bag in his vehicle, along with $3000 in cash.

“At this stage a total of 9.3 ounces of methamphetamine with a street value of $263,000 has been seized.

“In addition to this, a sophisticated cannabis grow was located at another Christchurch property. As a result of documentation found there Police executed a further warrant on a property in Loburn, finding a sophisticated cannabis operation that was set up but had not yet started producing.

“At the Loburn address Police also located a Holden GTS Commodore vehicle worth $35,000 which was stolen in a burglary in February, and which it will be alleged was used in a number of these commercial burglaries.”

Detective Inspector Williams says the investigation has established that the group has accumulated significant assets with no apparent legitimate source of income.

To date four high performance motor vehicles and two Ducati Superbikes to a total value of $233,000 have been seized pursuant to the Criminal Proceeds Act.

A total of $61,000 in cash has also been seized from various addresses.

“This is one of the most significant crime operations seen in the city for some time,” Detective Inspector Williams says. “It is my view that these arrests will have a significant impact on the supply of methamphetamine into the Canterbury District.

“It will be alleged that this group has been supplying a significant number of people for at least six months. This includes people who are associated with motorcycle gangs in Christchurch.

“We are also confident that we have dismantled a significant commercial burglary ring.

“The investigation has shown the direct link between serious drug dealing and other types of crime. This was a small but highly organised crime group who have wreaked havoc across the region.

“The Police operation continues our focus on targeting active offenders – and I’m confident we will see a significant drop off in this type of crime.”

 

 

 

 

http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/28354-eight-arrested-canterbury-methamphetamine-and-burglary-operation.html

 

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