Gangs targeted during COVID-19 lockdown
The Comancheros, Mongrel Mob, Black Power, Nomads, Headhunters, Rebels, King Cobras, Tribesmen, and Mongols have all been in the police's cross-hairs, as officers continued to target organised crime during lockdown.
Police have executed more than 100 search warrants, seized nearly 50 firearms, and arrested more than 90 people across the country since lockdown in March.
"New Zealand Police continues to hold organised criminals accountable even through this challenging time," says Detective Superintendent Greg Williams, National Manager: National Organised Crime Group.
"The illicit activities these groups take part in cause immeasurable harm in our communities."
"Since March 26, when New Zealand went into Alert Level 4, operations to dismantle organised crime groups operating in our cities and town have continued."
While New Zealanders have been changing their lifestyles to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Greg says police have been disrupting the lifestyles of offenders who bring social harm to our communities.
The search warrants executed have resulted in 93 arrests on more than 250 charges.
Police have seized 43 firearms, 25kg of methamphetamine, 30kg of cannabis, and small amounts of cocaine, MDMA, GBL, and LSD.
There were 14 clandestine labs located and a substantial amount of chemicals and equipment relating to methamphetamine manufacture seized, along with more than $1.2 million in cash.
Gangs targeted include Comancheros, Mongrel Mob, Black Power, Nomads, Headhunters, Rebels, King Cobras, Tribesmen, and Mongols, says Greg.
Charges laid relate mainly to the manufacture and supply of methamphetamine, supply of cannabis and MDMA, possession of firearms and ammunition, and breaching court bail.
The most recent major operation - Operation Nestegg - was terminated on Friday, May 8, and saw five arrests, hundreds of thousands in cash, methamphetamine and rifles seized following search warrants in Auckland and Tokoroa.
"Throughout these operations staff have been policing in a changed environment and observing all health and safety requirements.
"The recovery of criminal proceeds has also continued throughout Alert Levels 3 and 4."
More than $4.4 million has been forfeited, most of which related to drug crime.
"In addition, over $2 million has been restrained and will be subject to further investigation pending forfeiture."