Police Minister Stuart Nash says a major operation against the Mongols motorcycle gang in Bay of Plenty today will make a significant impact on the methamphetamine trade and inter-gang violence in the region.
Police have announced ten arrests and the seizure of eight prohibited firearms and six Molotov cocktail explosive devices. It follows a lengthy operation involving 110 Police officers and staff dubbed Operation Silk.
“Police have taken out the leadership of this violent gang and averted potential attacks on rival gangs which may have caught up innocent bystanders,” said Mr Nash.
“They have also seized methamphetamine, cash, and nineteen high-end motorcycles and vehicles. Money laundering charges are also being laid against business associates of the gang.
“The Mongols are an organised criminal group and most of those arrested were Australian deportees linked to the Banditos gang in Brisbane. They are known for violence, firearms offending, and drug trafficking.
“Earlier this year the Coalition Government banned the display of their patches and gang insignia on government and local government premises.
“I commend the excellent work of Police organised crime specialists, the Armed Offenders Squad, asset recovery teams, and staff from Corrections.
“Organised crime causes harm in our communities. Police are committed to disrupting and dismantling the networks behind the scourge of methamphetamine and other illicit drugs.
“White collar professionals are driving offending by gangs who are involved in the distribution of the drugs. Our response to organised crime requires a coordinated approach using all of the tools at our disposal.
“Police will strip them of their assets. Law enforcement agencies co-operate across international networks through intelligence sharing. The Coalition Government has put a record number of Police on the frontline with a specific focus on organised crime.
“Through the health system and other agencies we are also targeting the factors causing addiction, which drives the demand for methamphetamine. This is a long term challenge for government and community agencies,” Mr Nash said.