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Large commercial meth lab busted near Tauranga

File photo.

Police have uncovered a large scale methamphetamine lab in McLaren Falls.

This comes after a number of warrants have been executed in the Bay of Plenty in recent weeks, on the back of a significant operation run by the National Organised Crime Group.

The warrants were targeting the sale and distribution of methamphetamine in the area.

On Tuesday, 25 June, a warrant was executed by NOCG and local investigators at a Parkvale address in Tauranga, who located methamphetamine and cannabis.

A 40-year-old Tauranga man faces drug charges in relation to the items seized.

A further warrant located half a kilogram of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, at another address.

Further enquiries are being made in relation to this find and charges are likely.

Yesterday another warrant was executed at a McLaren Falls Road address and Police located a significant clandestine laboratory capable of producing several kilograms of methamphetamine each week.

The lab was located in an area of bush on the rural property.

This find will significantly disrupt the supply chain of methamphetamine in the area.

“The impact this drug has on the community cannot be understated,” says Detective Inspector Paul Newman of the National Organised Crime Group.

“It destroys families and lives, and the desire to obtain the drug is a driver of a lot of crime and harm in our communities – the people of Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty will be better off for the dismantling of this lab.”

Paul says the Asset Recovery Unit is also working with the investigation teams and will look to seize property accumulated through the proceeds of these criminal activities.

“It is vital that we tackle this type of offending on two fronts – first, we hold those responsible for the harm they are causing to our communities, and second, their criminal gains are taken from them.”

A 50-year-old man and 34-year-old woman have been arrested and will face charges.

A firearm and ammunition were also located, along with a large amount of cash buried near a dwelling on the property.

Anyone affected by methamphetamine addiction is urged to seek help through the Alcohol and Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, or free text 1737 to speak with a trained counsellor.

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