Overnight Police staff from Rotorua, the National Organised Crime Group and the National Asset Recovery Unit executed search warrants in Rotorua and Auckland in relation to the sale and supply of methamphetamine.
Rotorua Police also worked closely with iwi under the guidance and korowai of Te Pukenga Koeke O Te Arawa.
“This has been a long-running investigation targeting an organised crime group, including patched members of the Head Hunters gang, who have been peddling methamphetamine in the Rotorua area,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Eddie Sutherland of the National Organised Crime Group.
“We are aware the Head Hunters have been trying to establish a presence in the area for some time.”
Four people have been arrested, including a 40-year-old man who is a patched Head Hunters gang member.
They face charges relating to the sale and supply of methamphetamine, firearms and money laundering, and will appear in Rotorua District Court today.
Seized assets at this stage include residential property, and several high-end motor vehicles.
“Police are committed to targeting, prosecuting and seizing the assets of organised criminals who take advantage of the addictiveness of methamphetamine and profit off vulnerable members of society,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Sutherland.
“The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act continues to be a highly effective tool to recover proceeds of crime and we encourage anyone with information regarding criminal or suspicious financial activities to let us know.
“Our message is simple: if you sell drugs, you can expect to be caught and face significant time in prison.”
Inspector Anaru Pewhairangi, Rotorua Area Commander, says the operation is a reminder that those who participate in organised crime will face serious consequences.
“Gangs can only prosper when there is support for them within the community. This group has been selling illicit drugs and accumulating wealth at the expense of the vulnerable, and we have made it clear that Rotorua Police will not stand by and let this happen,” says Inspector Pewhairangi.
“We are focused on working in partnership with Iwi and our community to help those affected by methamphetamine get away from the downward cycle of addiction."
If you or someone you know has a drug addiction and you would like confidential advice, contact the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797.
If the community does not want gangs living among it then anyone in the community can take action by providing confidential information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, Inspector Pewhairangi says.
A media stand-up in relation to this operation will be held outside Rotorua Police Station at 1190-1214 Fenton Street at 2pm today.
Inspector Anaru Pewhairangi will be speaking to media alongside iwi and community leaders.
Please gather outside the Police station at 2pm.
Issued by Police Media Centre