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Police set to seize $11m after drug raids

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/06/2016

Millions of dollars worth of property, drugs, cash and cars are being held by police following a nationwide undercover operation targeting drug dealing houses.

Police raided more than 100 properties during the seven-month operation across nine districts, with 155 people arrested and charged for their role in selling narcotics.

Overall, around $11 million worth of cash, houses, commercial properties and vehicles are liable to be seized according to police.

Officers went undercover to investigate the drug dealing houses, resulting in the confiscation of 42 kilograms of cannabis plus 89 plants, 900 grams of methamphetamine and seven firearms.

Detective Inspector Craig Scott says police are particularly concerned that 40 children aged between three-weeks-old and 16-years-old were found in houses that were selling drugs.

In one incident, an officer was sold drugs by a woman holding a young child in her arms while in another, police were dealt narcotics while a mother was breastfeeding her baby.

"Police is determined to shut down drug dealing operations to prevent the significant social harm they cause the community, the users and their families," said Det Insp Scott on Thursday.

A number of referrals to Child, Youth and Family have been made.

In addition to targeting the drug houses themselves, police also made inroads to infiltrating organised crime groups with two separate gang chapter presidents included in the arrests.

"This undercover work carries a high level of risk and considerable courage and determination is required to infiltrate these groups."

SEVEN-MONTH OPERATION BY THE NUMBERS

* $11m worth of property under investigation or restraint

* 155 people arrested, including two gang chapter presidents

* 791 charges laid

* 46 addresses selling methamphetamine

* 70 addresses selling cannabis

* 25 properties selling both drugs

* 40 children found in drug dealing houses

Source: NZ Police

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