Police arrest 26 in operation targeting illegal drugs

2:37 pm on 29 October 2020

Police have arrested 26 people as part of an operation into illegal drugs, and have seized millions of dollars worth of assets.

Drugs, weapons and money recovered by police in Operation Cincinnati.

Drugs, weapons and money seized by police in Operation Cincinnati. Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

As part of Operation Cincinnati, more than 100 police staff carried out search warrants at 34 properties throughout the Auckland region this week.

Police seized a large quantity of drugs, including methamphetamine and MDMA, along with commercial grade drug making equipment.

They also found about $500,000 in cash and a number of illegal weapons and seized more than $1.2 million worth of luxury vehicles including a 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista and a 2020 Porsche 911 Coupe.

"Police allege the syndicate imported quantities of methamphetamine and MDMA into the country, and were responsible for producing large quantities of a particular type of pink ecstasy pill, known as 'Pink Porsches'," police said in a release.

A luxury vehicle (Ferrari) seized by Police during Operation Cincinnati.

A luxury vehicle (Ferrari) seized by Police during Operation Cincinnati. Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

They said more than 20,000 of the 'Pink Porsche' pills were found in the operations.

"These pills were allegedly produced in bulk, then passed on to an extensive network of dealers who would sell the drug at various locations and temporary accommodation, before moving on and selling elsewhere."

Police said they carried out 34 searches throughout the Auckland region, including in Kohimarama, St John, Auckland Central, Remuera, Kumeu and Westmere.

"As part of those searches, police located and seized two large commercial grade pill presses - machines used to produce pills in mass - capable of producing hundreds of ecstasy pills per day."

"By stripping this syndicate of the tools they use to produce the drugs, as well as the assets they obtained from such offending, we are effectively striking at the core of their business," National Organised Crime Group's Acting Detective Inspector John Brunton said.

"We want to send a clear message that such criminal activity won't be tolerated, and causes immeasurable harm in our communities - harm that we are committed to reducing."