Police seize 3000 cannabis plants, firearms, houses and $100k in drug bust

5:38 pm on 19 August 2020

Police have seized houses, vehicles, firearms, cash, and cannabis plants valued at $3.2 million in busts around the Bay of Plenty today.

Police seized nine Harley Davidson motorbikes.

Police seized nine Harley Davidson motorbikes. Photo: NZ Police

Police said 23 searches were carried out in Taupō, Hamilton and Rotorua.

More than 3000 cannabis plants were seized, along with three houses, two classic cars, nine Harley Davidson motorbikes, jewellery and more than $100,000 in cash.

Seven firearms including three semi-automatic military-style rifles and one semi-automatic shotgun were also seized.

Rotorua Area Commander Inspector Phil Taikato said in a statement that the operation was the result of a six-month investigation into organised crime in the region and beyond.

The offenders spread harm in the communities and "push drugs onto vulnerable users and suck money and resources out of some of our most deprived communities," he said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Keith Kay, officer in charge of the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Asset Recovery Unit, said in a statement that confiscation of the proceeds aimed to ensure that criminals did not benefit from crime.

Twenty people were arrested.

All are due to appear in Rotorua District Court tomorrow, on charges relating to cannabis cultivation and supply, and participation in an organised criminal group.