You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Police arrest 17 in raids across north

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/03/2016

Police have detained 17 people in a massive series of raids aimed at a meth ring in the upper North Island.

About 160 officers launched searches across more than 30 locations in Auckland, Northland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty on early Thursday morning.

Armed police also arrested two men in a car on Auckland's Karangahape Road, as well as in raids on Hobson Street and in Botany, Whatawhata and Oropi.

Five of the 17 people taken into custody across the country are alleged to be connected to the Head Hunters gang.

Most of them are expected to appear in the Auckland District Court on Thursday afternoon, along with one at the Kaikohe District Court and two in Hamilton.

Two meth labs were found in Oropi, in the Bay of Plenty, during the searches and a number of items believed to be involved in money-laundering were seized.

They included $6500 worth of casino chips found in the boot of a Mercedes, piles of cash - including US dollars - and expensive vehicles. 

Police also seized a boat named "Licence to Thrill" from a south Auckland storage unit. 

Detective Senior Sergeant Lloyd Schmid said the bust was part of a long-running investigation into organised crime and meth manufacturing. Two searches were also conducted in Christchurch as part of the operation. 

Police say armed officers were only deployed as a precaution.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon