7 Feb 2012

Drug syndicate trial begins

7:19 pm on 7 February 2012

Seven people accused of involvement in one of the biggest methamphetamine syndicates in New Zealand are on trial in Auckland.

The six men and one woman are charged with 106 offences, most of them related to the distribution of a class A drug.

The list of charges, which also includes firearms and money laundering offences, took 20 minutes to read in the High Court at Auckland on Tuesday.

A prosecutor opened the Crown case on tuesday afternoon, telling jurors that the defendants had operated a highly lucrative large-scale drug operation.

He said he would show how the group had communicated through coded telephone and text messages, and how it operated a hierarchy that included lieutenants and runners.

The trial is set down for six weeks.