Assets and $3.7m seized in major Police sting

New Zealand crime 3 minutes ago Watch live: Police give details on international organised crime operation 3 minutes ago Share this Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via email Share on Reddit Share on Linked In Senior members

Senior members of the Waikato Comancheros, the Waikato Mongrel Mob and the Head Hunters have been arrested as part of the New Zealand end of a massive international crime sting.

Police held a media conference regarding the operation.

Watch it here:

National Organised Crime Group director detective superintendent Greg Williams says at about 4pm yesterday police conducted 37 search warrants across the North Island.

The operation involved over 300 personnel including Armed Offenders Squad, Special Tactics Group, Asset Recovery and staff from the Bay of Plenty, Waikato Central and Wellington District.

Three major organised crime investigations, targeting the importation and the sale and supply of methamphetamine and money laundering activities were simultaneously terminated.

Thirty-five people were arrested and are facing around 900 charges relating to serious drug dealing and money laundering offences.

These people have appeared in the Auckland District Court and Hamilton District Court this morning and are considered to be among key leaders of organised crime groups in New Zealand, says Williams.

Police have also seized $3.7 million in assets as well as 20 ounces of methamphetamine, large bags of cannabis, multiple kilograms of iodine, four firearms, 14 vehicles including two marine vessels, a number of mobile phones, and more than $1 million in cash.

More warrants are being conducted today and police expect more arrests.

Police have been running multiple operations, under the umbrella Operation Spyglass, as part of an international effort with law enforcement agencies to investigate the sale and supply of methamphetamine and money laundering activities.

“We believe the termination of these operations will have a significant impact on New Zealand’s organised crime scene,” says Williams.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates how the FBI, led by its Legal Attaché Offices around the world, and our multiple foreign law enforcement partners can come together to successfully combat transnational organised crime and drug trafficking activity."

Operation Trojan Shield

Operation Trojan Shield was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and co-ordinated with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Australian Federal Police, Europol and other law enforcement agencies from more than a dozen countries.

Police say organised crime groups were using encrypted platforms to communicate. In 2018 the FBI dismantled the encrypted platform service Phantom Secure. Another service, Sky Global, was dismantled in March 2021.

Items seized as part of operation Trojan shield. Images: NZ Police/supplied.

Operation Trojan Shield saw the FBI create a closed encrypted company, called ‘ANOM’ to fill this void and target organised crime, drug trafficking and money laundering activities

New Zealand Police began working with the FBI on Operation Trojan Shield in January 2020 to monitor the communication of platform users in New Zealand

The network had 57 devices in New Zealand using it and all were being used for criminal activities, says Williams.

Police said they also observed significant money laundering by the groups involved.

"It's a key focus for us to disrupt those cash flows.”

"We couldn't do this without our partners," Williams said. That included, for example, Customs.

"What we are actually talking about here is these transnational groups preying on our vulnerable communities."

Operation Van

It started with operation van back in 2018 that targeted a transnational organised crime group linked to the Comancheros

It involved numerous agencies New Zealand Customs, New Zealand Defence Force, National Maritime Coordination Centre.

As well as international partner agencies FBI, DEA and AFP.

The group allegedly planned to import huge quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine by way of small crafts into New Zealand but the shipment never made it into the country.

Around 136 kilograms of methamphetamine seized from a storage unit in Rotorua in August 2019 that was linked to this syndicate as part of this operation

One person has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced for possession for supply in relation to this matter.

Operation Equinox

Another operation, Equinox, targeted senior members of Waikato Comancheros and Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom

During the operation Police seized 8.6 kilograms of methamphetamine at the border.

Police allege members have worked with offshore entities to import large quantities of methamphetamine and MDMA which was distributed across New Zealand

Operation Seltos

Police allege a group of Head Hunters members primarily based in Auckland have been dealing large amounts of methamphetamine.

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@ Slim Shady

Posted on 09-06-2021 09:59 | By

Sorry mate, barely scratches Russia. The corruption there is unbelievable and it’s far from just gang infiltration.


Posted on 08-06-2021 19:53 | By

224 arrests and counting in Ozzy. That just means dozens more 501 deportees heading this way soon! Hahaha

Great Job

Posted on 08-06-2021 18:33 | By

GREAT job by the Police and all those involved. Put the proceeds toward infrastructure. Unfortunately Australia will just send the scum with any sniff of a link to NZ to NZ. Thanks for nothing Aussie.


Posted on 08-06-2021 17:23 | By Merlin

Perhaps now the Opposition spokesperon for Justice will retract his statement that the Police need to get serious about gangs and calling them woke.


Posted on 08-06-2021 14:29 | By

Gangs run the show in Australasia. They have people embedded in law enforcement, border control, ports, prisons. It’s a real problem for this region of the world. It’s like Russia & Eastern Europe.

boys in blue

Posted on 08-06-2021 13:26 | By dumbkof2

very well done to the boys in blue. may you keep up the excellent work

Support our cops

Posted on 08-06-2021 12:19 | By

Fantastic work guys. Apparently, initiated by the Australians working with the FBI and targeting international criminal activities. Sadly, it’s a very good time for our scumbag criminals to be arrested, with the government signalling that prison in New Zealand doesn’t work and a big reluctance to change this scenario. So the upshot is, that after being allowed home to await court proceedings (maybe next year) these oxygen thieves will all seek legal aid and after millions of dollars spent they’ll not spend enough time locked securely away in miserable conditions to recompense the misery that they’ve imposed on their own communities.


Posted on 08-06-2021 11:32 | By dumbkof2

great work from the boys in blue. hope they keep it up