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Operation Lavender: Arrest made over young man’s death

Police have made an arrest in connection with a young man’s death, which sparked a wider investigation into an alleged methamphetamine importation operation.

Twenty-one-year-old Aiden Sagala died on 7 March 2023 in Auckland City Hospital. Aiden had innocently drank from a beer can, which unbeknown to him contained high purity liquid methamphetamine.

‘An investigation has been underway into Aiden’s death since then, and we can now advise further pathology and toxicology testing has now been completed,’ said Detective Inspector Glenn Baldwin, Auckland City CIB.

‘His tragic death initiated Operation Lavender which has seen numerous serious drugs charges already laid, and a large quantity of methamphetamine and other drugs recovered at an address in Manukau.

‘The Operation Lavender team uncovered a significant drug importation, in which drugs in liquid form were allegedly being imported into concealed in beer cans.

‘Whilst the final calculations are not yet complete, Police estimate the value of the drug seizure to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

‘Today, this investigation progressed further with Police arresting and charging a 40-year-old man with manslaughter.

‘This man, who is already before the Court as part of Operation Lavender, is expected to appear in the Auckland District Court later today.

‘The investigation team has informed Aiden’s family of this development and we are continuing to support them through this process.

‘As the matter is now before the Court, we are not in a position to comment further at this stage.

‘Police enquiries into the wider importation investigation remains ongoing and we cannot rule out further charges being laid.’

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Source:NZ Police

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