New Zealand Police are today terminating a year-long investigation into the activities of the Comanchero Motorcycle Gang.
More than 80 Police staff, including special groups such as the Armed Offenders Squad, Dog Section and Specialist Search Group, have been executing search warrants at seven properties throughout the Auckland region this morning.
The warrants are part of the second termination phase of Operation Nova, an investigation into the gang, the alleged importing of drugs into the New Zealand and the laundering of millions of dollars.
At this stage, a number of people have been arrested, including some senior members and associates of the Comanchero gang.
So far about $3.7 million in assets have been restrained, including two residential properties and several high end vehicles, including a number of Range Rovers, a Rolls Royce and two Harley Davidson motorcycles.
National Organised Crime Group’s Detective Superintendent Greg Williams says this kind of wealth is used by the gang to market themselves.
“We are determined to strip them of that wealth that we allege has come from criminal offending, and take the profit out of it” he says.
The national manager of the Financial Crime Group, Detective Superintendent Iain Chapman, says the seizures ensure that criminal wealth is not able to be re-invested to help the gang grow.
“These seizures are also about removing the symbols of status and influence used by organised crime groups to attract others to join,” he says.
This investigation remains ongoing and Police cannot rule out the possibility of further seizures and arrests.
More information will be available this afternoon.
Adriana Weber/NZ Police
Media note: Detective Superintendent Greg Williams and Detective Superintendent Iain Chapman will be available to speak to media at a media conference at Harlech House, 482 Great South Road, Otahuhu at 2.15pm today. Media are asked to get there early to set up. Video footage and pictures will likely be available.