Police have today arrested eight people on drug-related charges after a number of search warrants were carried out in Rotorua, Tauranga and Paeroa.
The search warrants followed a two-month investigation by Police’s National Organised Crime Group (NOCG) into a significant drug-dealing network operating in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions.
“This investigation initially arose out of enquiries into the burglary of a commercial property in Tauranga in November 2019, where a large amount of iodine was stolen,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Brett Shields.
“Iodine is a ‘material’ used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. As our investigation unfolded we identified an extensive network involved in the importation of methamphetamine, GBL, MDMA, and pre-cursors used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.”
The investigation was headed up by NOCG’s National Clandestine Laboratory Response Team and supported by local staff, and uncovered a significant drug dealing network centred in the Bay of Plenty and extending into the Waikato region.
Six women and two men, aged from 28 to 55 years, were arrested today.
They face a total of 42 charges including importing methamphetamine, GBL and MDMA, and possession and distribution of these drugs.
Those arrested will appear in Whakatāne, Hamilton and Rotorua District Courts in the coming days.
Police today also seized a quantity of methamphetamine and MDMA, as well as LSD, cannabis, cash, Bitcoin, a ute (pictured), and a number of electronic items used in coordinating drug importation and distribution.
“These illicit drugs cause a significant amount of harm in communities across New Zealand,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Shields.
“They destroy the lives of users, as well as hurting users’ families and loved ones.”
“Police is committed to targeting and dismantling the operations of those who seek to profit from this harm, and we’re confident today’s operation will result in a major disruption to the supply of methamphetamine and other illicit drugs in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions.”
We encourage anyone affected by drug addiction to seek help through the Alcohol and Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, or free text 868.
Anyone with information about drug offending in their communities is urged to contact Police. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.