Police arrested 41 people and restrained property worth $3.8 million after an eight-month investigation into the methamphetamine trade in the Gisborne area.
The operation last week saw police search 37 properties in Gisborne and one in Rotorua. They arrested 41 people who are collectively facing 245 charges of importing a Class A drug, conspiracy to sell, selling and possession of methamphetamine for supply and cannabis dealing. They appeared in the Gisborne and Auckland District Courts over the last nine days.
Four Singapore nationals were charged after the importation of 700 grams of methamphetamine which police say was destined for the Gisborne and East Coast market.
Police have also restrained eight properties in the Gisborne area, several bank accounts and vehicles and seized 400 grams of methamphetamine along with firearms, cash and cannabis. Those arrested included patched Black Power and Mongrel Mob members and several others with strong family ties to the gangs.
Detective Sergeant Kevin Ford said one of police’s major concerns was the presence of children who were living at several of the properties that were targeted.
“This is a serious problem not just for police, but for the local community as a whole. These children were of various ages and had been living in houses where the drug was being used and dealt.
“The community needs to take responsibility for keeping our children safe and part of that means not exposing them to dangerous drugs and the ensuing criminal activity,” Mr Ford said.
The families of children involved in the meth bust have been referred to Child Youth and Family. Mr Ford said there had been instances in the past where children had tested positive for methamphetamine while living in the same house as users and dealers.
“This is an appalling situation and we ask the community to make a stand against this insidious drug and the effects it is having on their lives. We can’t do it alone.”
Methamphetamine does affect you and anyone with information about drug-dealing should contact their nearest police station or information can be left anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111. ENDS
Media release issued by Kris McGehan, Eastern District Communications Manager: 027 222 3638