Major Auckland gang crime operation: 11 arrests, $ 1 million in assets seized

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A dozen guns, methamphetamine and more than $ 1 million in cash, gold, high-end vehicles and bitcoins have been taken from the hands of organized criminals following a major operation policewoman in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Photo: RNZ / Patrice Allen

The operation, dubbed Operation Evansville, was a four-month investigation by a joint Tāmaki Makaurau team into organized crime.

The investigation targeted organized crime individuals, including those with close ties to the Head Hunters Motorcycle Gang, the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine, and the illegal possession of firearms.

Detectives also located two clandestine laboratories as part of the investigation.

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More than 21 search warrants have been issued in the greater Auckland area, including seven in Henderson, Long Bay, Flatbush and Auckland Central yesterday.

Eleven people have been arrested and face various charges including robbery, illegal possession of firearms, possession to supply methamphetamine, manufacture of methamphetamine and money laundering.

The group of 11 includes two men, aged 47 and 50, who were arrested yesterday in the final stages of the operation and who appeared in Auckland District Court.

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Detective Inspector Aaron Pascoe, Auckland District Field Crime Officer, said: “These organized criminals are often in illegal possession of firearms, which poses a risk to our community and is totally unacceptable.

“They often live what seems like a lavish lifestyle with cash and flash cars, but they do so by peddling meth in our community, devastating the lives of users and their families.”

“Their offense has a flow effect, with drug users often turning to crimes such as theft, burglary and theft to fund their drug addiction, leaving innocent victims in their wake.”

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Police said they would continue to target organized crime groups and the recovery of illegal firearms as part of Nationwide Operation Tauwhiro, announced by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster last week.

Detective Inspector Aaron Pascoe urged the community to support them in their efforts.

You can report a crime online at 105.police.govt.nz, call the police on 105, or report anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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