30 Oct 2018

More arrests expected in Taranaki meth bust

5:53 pm on 30 October 2018

Police say they are close to wrapping up an investigation targeting methamphetamine dealers in Taranaki, but that more arrests can be expected.

 Meth Campaign

Photo: Wikipedia

Three people have been arrested in New Plymouth today charged with conspiracy to supply methamphetamine, and other drug-related charges.

A 28-year-old woman, and two men aged 25 and 38 will appear in the New Plymouth District Court tomorrow.

Detective Senior Sergeant Brent Matuku said police would oppose bail for all three.

"They are part of a group that we've been investigating for some time now and we're happy to see an end to this particular investigation, but there will be further arrests in the coming weeks."

Detective Matuku said two men aged 42 and 45 who were already in custody, had also been charged with conspiracy to supply methamphetamine.

"We've got five people charged with conspiracy to supply methamphetamine and they are going to be appearing in court tomorrow and in the coming weeks, but it's no bigger than any other organised group of people that are looking to make profit out of the misery of other people."

Detective Matuku said the arrests demonstrated police's commitment to protecting the community from the serious harm caused by organised crime and methamphetamine.

"I see a lot of victims as part of my working life. No just the end user but people that are connected with them, their families, colleague that work with them, business owners as we have seen in recent times.

"The physical and social carnage that methamphetamine causes to our communities is unacceptable and we are committed to lessening that harm and holding those responsible to account."

Last week, prominent businessman and the owner of Fowler Homes in Taranaki, Lauchlan MacMillan, was arrested and charged with possession and supply of methamphetamine.

Waitara man Ethian James Briskie, 45, was also arrested along with 32-year-old Opunake woman, Chikara Heni Smith.

Mr MacMillan and Mr Briskie were remanded in custody to reappear on 8 November.

Detective Matuku said battling the methamphetamine was an ongoing problem.

"Police can't eliminate methamphetamine alone - it takes the wider community's assistance to help combat the negative impact of this drug, and thankfully in Taranaki we have that support from our community."

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