17 Apr 2015

Auckland meth rings shut down

5:42 pm on 17 April 2015

Authorities have broken two major drug rings in Auckland, seizing methamphetamine worth up to $123 million.

The Organised and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand (OFCANZ) worked with Customs staff on the operations.

Methamphetamine seized in two Auckland operations.

Methamphetamine seized in two Auckland operations. Photo: NZ POLICE

During Operation Wand, 83 kilograms of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of up to $83 million was found in late March.

"This included the discovery of $20 million worth of methamphetamine at a clan lab in Pakuranga," Detective Inspector Bruce Good said.

"To find 20 kilograms ready or being prepared for market at one clan lab shows the scale of the organised criminal operation we have infiltrated during Operation Wand."

He said it showed the drug was still a big issue in this country.

"Unfortunately it also suggests that the market for methamphetamine remains strong in New Zealand."

In the other, Operation Sorrento, $40 million worth of methamphetamine was seized.

Mr Good said police were not aware of any links between the organised criminal groups involved in each operation.

Nine people have been arrested and charged, of which seven are Chinese or Hong Kong nationals and two New Zealand citizens.

Police said the criminal groups used techniques for importation and production not seen in this country before.

The seizure was more than the entire amount of methamphetamine seized in New Zealand last year.