27 Dec 2019

Northland drug bust: Police restrain properties worth $1.2 million

4:39 pm on 27 December 2019

Two Northland properties at the centre of an investigation into a large-scale drugs syndicate have been handed over to the Crown.

Police generic

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The Wheki Valley properties, which have a combined value of $1.2 million, were raided by police in July as part of Operation Nortiate targeting the manufacture and supply of methamphetamine in Northland.

Firearms and drugs were found inside.

The properties have now been restrained by an order of the High Court in Whangārei.

Police also have a court order to seize a Dodge Hellcat muscle car, which has not yet been located.

As part of the operation, more than 150 staff executed search warrants at nine properties throughout the Northland region, at Wheki Valley, Hukerenui, Helena Bay, Raumanga and Puwera.

In addition to the properties, some $60,000 worth of stolen property was recovered in the some July raids, along with heroin, cannabis and methamphetamine.

Police also recovered two tasers and seven firearms, including a .357 Magnum pistol, a shotgun and two semi-automatic rifles.

Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston said restraining the property sent a clear message to criminals.

"The people who benefit from crime feed off the misery of others and take advantage of vulnerable people in our community. It causes immeasurable harm and entire families suffer," he said,

"By removing the assets they accumulate, we're showing that there is nothing to be gained from choosing such a path and that they will be caught and held to account."

He said anyone who had information relating to proceeds of crime should contact police.

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