23 Jun 2022

Police make five arrests, seize firearms and drugs in Far North

8:13 pm on 23 June 2022

Four people have been arrested and firearms, ammunition and drugs seized by police in the Far North.

Police generic

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

It followed multiple search warrants in the region overnight. Police executed five searches on four properties and a vehicle between Kerikeri and Mangonui.

Five firearms, a prohibited MSSA style rifle magazine, ammunition, a large amount of cannabis, methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and $3000 cash were seized.

Police said a 48-year-old man was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine and cannabis for supply, and would have his current firearm license revoked.

A 40-year-old woman has been charged with possession of methamphetamine. A 50-year-old man was charged with unlawfully possesses ammunition and a prohibited firearm magazine, as well as possession of methamphetamine.

A 45-year-old man was charged with possession of equipment for manufacturing methamphetamine.

All four will appear in Kaikohe District in due course.

The arrests come as police step up enforcement and disruption of unlawful gang activity across the country, with Operation Cobalt rolling out, Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Dalzell said.

"In Northland, police are also taking every opportunity to target those involved in recent gang and firearm-related violence, as well as other gang events that have taken place over long weekends in recent months.

"Our message to those involved is clear - the community expects a zero tolerance for any violence, gang and drug activities. Police will continue to disrupt this harmful behaviour and it will not be tolerated."

Other Northland arrests

Meanwhile, two people were arrested after policed seized firearms, cannabis and stolen property following a search warrant in Hikurangi, north of Whangarei.

A warrant was executed on the house on Wednesday morning.

A .22 calibre rifle, 205 rounds of ammunition, 1kg of cannabis, and stolen property from a string of burglaries around Northland were found.

A 30-year-old woman was arrested and charged with possession of cannabis for supply, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

She will appear in Whangārei District Court on Monday 27 June.

Police arrested a second person of interest after he was sighted by officers this morning at 10.50am, travelling in what is believed to be a stolen vehicle on Western Hills Drive in Whangarei.

The driver failed to stop when signalled and pursued the vehicle. The Northland Armed Offenders Squad also assisted in the pursuit.

Police eventually forced the vehicle to a stop in a service alley behind a group of shops in Kamo, and the driver was subsequently arrested.

A second passenger was also detained, but released shortly after as he was not involved any of the offending being investigated.

The driver had two outstanding warrants to arrest.

He was charged with failing to stop, driving whilst disqualified, and dangerous driving and will appear in Whangārei District Court at a later stage.