Please attribute to Detective Inspector Paul Newman, National Organised Crime Group
Police have seized more than 200 kilograms of methamphetamine and arrested two people as part of a major drug operation run by the National Organised Crime Group.
A search warrant was carried out at an apartment complex in Auckland central last week as part of Operation Essex.
Operation Essex has targeted members of an overseas criminal organisation working in New Zealand.
On entering the apartment, Police discovered a wardrobe full of cardboard packing boxes. In those were plastic storage containers filled with the drug.
The more than 200kg of methamphetamine located and seized has an estimated street value of approximately $144 million.
A 60-year-old British national was located at the scene and was charged with possession of methamphetamine for supply.
He has been remanded in custody without plea and is due to next appear in the Auckland District Court on September 4.
Subsequent inquiries have lead National Organised Crime Group investigators to a second UK national, a 49-year-old man, who Police allege was supporting and aiding the other man.
He has also been charged with possession of methamphetamine for supply and remanded in custody without plea.
He is expected to appear in the Manukau District Court on August 27.
Detective Inspector Paul Newman says this a significant seizure which will come as a blow to the meth market in this country.
“Wastewater analysis indicates New Zealanders are using about 16kg of methamphetamine a week. The quantity seized then is equivalent to four months of national methamphetamine consumption,” he says.
“New Zealand is being targeted by overseas criminal networks looking to exploit our families and communities for their own gain. This quantity of methamphetamine would have caused an extraordinary amount of harm and we would have all suffered as a result.”
Detective Inspector Paul Newman says this seizure goes a long way to preventing meth-related harm in our communities.
Police urge anyone with information about drug offending to contact Police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Adriana Weber/NZ Police