Police arrested eight suspects yesterday following the termination of a lengthy investigation into the manufacture and supply of methamphetamine in the Auckland region.
The investigation, code named Operation Genoa, has also led to the restraint of over $3 million in assets including a Ferrari, Porsche, Maserati and numerous motor vehicles, a 30 foot launch, five properties, gold bullion, silver ingots and in excess of $2 million in cash.
Detective Inspector Bruce Good from OFCANZ Auckland said 29 search warrants were executed at properties in Auckland, rural South Auckland and Nelson during the day.
“A substantial amount of methamphetamine was recovered at a rural property in Miranda 80 kilometres south-east of Auckland,” Mr Good said.
“During the execution of this warrant one of the suspects escaped. He was apprehended less than two hours later.
“Police dogs were used during this part of the operation and the assailant suffered minor dog bite injuries during his capture.”
Mr Good said the suspect was treated by ambulance staff at the scene and later taken to Auckland Hospital for treatment. He is still in hospital and expected to be released into custody either later today or tomorrow.
The eight suspects arrested will 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 are senior patched members of the Head Hunters gang.
Mr Good said the group were running a sophisticated methamphetamine manufacturing operation.
“We believe the suspects, many of whom have family connections, were using several addresses and storage units in Auckland, rural South Island and Nelson to produce, store and distribute methamphetamine and the Class B drug ephedrine,” Mr Good said.
“Our intelligence indicates they were producing in excess of $1million worth of methamphetamine at a time which gives an indication as to the size of the market they were supplying.”
“In total we have recovered approximately half a kilogram of methamphetamine and 6 kilograms of precursor drugs and chemicals during Operation Genoa. This would have a combined street value of in excess of $3.5million.”
Mr Good said the seizure of significant assets such as luxury cars, gold bullion and properties in Auckland, rural South Auckland and Nelson was particularly satisfying.
“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.”