Tasman Police have arrested two men and seized assets worth approximately $5 million dollars following a major operation in the district.
Over several months Police have undertaken a covert investigation into the commercial cultivation and widespread supply of cannabis throughout the West Coast of the South Island and Canterbury.
The investigation, led by the Tasman District Organised Crime Unit, saw the arrest of a 72-year-old Ngahere man on 9 September and a search warrant executed at his address.
The man has been charged with Possession for Supply of Cannabis and is due to appear in Christchurch District Court on 30 September.
Yesterday, Police from around the Tasman district also executed a search warrant at a large rural property in Kaniere.
It is expected that Police will be at this scene for a number of days.
Of note, Police have located a very large underground bunker containing a sophisticated cannabis growing operation.
A large number of firearms have also been seized.
A 63-year-old man has been arrested and charged with cultivating cannabis as well as selling cannabis and is due to appear in Greymouth District Court today (18th September.)
Assets of an estimated value of $5 million have been restrained by the Southern Asset Recovery Unit.
Inspector Jacqui Corner, West Coast Area Commander, says the operation goes some way to reducing harm in our West Coast communities.
“Police rely on tips from the public to stem the flow of drugs, and information supplied from our community, which has been instrumental in Police being able to prosecute these offenders and take their assets.
“I would like to thank the West Coast community for their patience and information that they have supplied Police over the past year about these addresses.
“With the scale and seriousness of offending Police needed to carefully consider and thoroughly investigate the offending of these groups as well as their assets and put them out of business for good.
“Our investigation team has spent months working to dismantle this drug supply, and in doing so have prevented significant harm reaching our communities.
“Drug use is a driver of numerous other crimes so operations of this nature will continue to be a priority for Tasman District Police,” says Inspector Corner.
“As well as holding people to account, police will ensure that those who are reliant on illicit drugs are referred to the relevant agencies to ensure they get the support they need.
“Let’s work together to ensure we stop drugs causing more harm to our communities by continuing to be vigilant to this type of behaviour.”
Police encourage anyone who may have any information about drug-related offending to contact Police.
You can do so in confidence by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Issued by the Police Media Centre