29 Sep 2020

Eight people arrested in BOP/Waikato drug bust

6:01 pm on 29 September 2020

The police have arrested eight people in drug busts in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato.

Ute seized by Police in Bay of Plenty/Waikato operation.

The ute seized by police in the Bay of Plenty/Waikato operation. Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

Police say a number of search warrants were carried out in Rotorua, Tauranga and Paeroa today following a two-month investigation by the National Organised Crime Group into a significant drug-dealing network.

Six women and two men, aged between 28 to 55-years-old, were arrested.

"This investigation initially arose out of enquiries into the burglary of a commercial property in Tauranga in November 2019, where a large amount of iodine was stolen," Detective Senior Sergeant Brett Shields said.

Iodine is a material used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, Shields said.

"As our investigation unfolded we identified an extensive network involved in the importation of methamphetamine, GBL, MDMA, and pre-cursors used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine."

Methamphetamine and MDMA, as well as LSD, cannabis, cash, Bitcoin, a ute, and a number of electronic items used in coordinating drug importation and distribution were seized during the bust.

"These illicit drugs cause a significant amount of harm in communities across New Zealand" Shields said.

Those arrested face a total of 42 charges, including importing methamphetamine, GBL and MDMA, and possession and distribution of these drugs. They will appear in court over the coming days.