11 Mar 2016

Assault weapons found hidden in ceiling

4:11 pm on 11 March 2016

Military-style assault weapons have been found in the ceiling of an Auckland house, as well as a P-lab inside a secret room in a warehouse.

Some of the seized weapons

Some of the seized weapons Photo: NZ Police

The Organised Crime Group carried out several searches yesterday as part of a major police drug operation called Turbo, looking into the manufacture and supply of methamphetamine.

Shane Hannon, 37, appeared in Manukau District Court this morning, charged with the possession and manufacture of methamphetamine, and unlawful possession of a pistol.

He was remanded in custody until next month.

Police aren't ruling out further charges.

Some of the seized firearms

Some of the seized firearms Photo: NZ Police

Police say officers found a handgun next to Hannon's bed, half a kilo of freshly-made methamphetamine - worth up to half a million dollars - and a bag with $150,000 in cash.

Police later found a heavily fortified industrial warehouse with a P-lab and a secret room containing another lab, as well as firearms.

Another search of a Takanini house in South Auckland turned up 14 guns, including AK47s and M16s.

The seized weapons

The seized weapons Photo: NZ Police

Detective Senior Sergeant Lloyd Schmid told Morning Report the discovery of the military weapons was alarming.

"Certainly the mix of firearms, drugs and clandestine laboratories is something we are well aware of and have come across in the past. However, the large haul of these military-style, semi-automatic firearms is certainly something I have never come across in my career before and firearms located in the alleged offenders possession and within the clan lab is alarming."

He said the priority was to find out how the weapons got into New Zealand.

"How they got into New Zealand and into whose possession they were will be the focus of the inquiry going forward over the next few days and weeks. I can't comment on how many might be circulating in the country, all I can say is the inquiry will focus on how they got into New Zealand and who was responsible for that."

Some of the weapons seized in Operation Turbo

Some of the weapons seized in Operation Turbo Photo: NZ Police