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Police updates – Operations Dairyland and Lithium, Whangarei drug bust

Police updates for 4 June 2022 news

Police updates on crimes and investigations for the morning of 4 June 2022.

Police recover body from Pelorus River, near Havelock

Police have recovered the body of a man who was found submerged inside his vehicle in the Pelorus River on 2 June.

Police and Fire and Emergency New Zealand responded after receiving a report that a vehicle had been seen submerged in the river, next to Kaiuma Bay Road shortly before 4.30pm.

The National Police Dive Squad managed to recover the deceased from the vehicle late last night.

The vehicle was recovered yesterday morning.

A post-mortem will be conducted in due course to formally identify the deceased.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating the circumstances of the crash.

Ten vehicles impounded following driving offences on ANZAC weekend

This week Police have impounded 10 vehicles from illegal street racers for loss of traction offences following a meet in late April.

Over Anzac weekend, several racers congregated in a commercial area of Lower Hutt and proceeded to do burnouts, skids, and make tyres smoke — all dangerous and reckless behaviour which puts themselves and others at risk.

Road Policing teams have been working with local businesses in Lower Hutt to identify the vehicles and drivers responsible.

As part of the investigation, Police has reviewed more than two hours of CCTV footage and gathered evidence of the offences.

In this first round of seizures, vehicles were impounded from different areas around the Lower North Island including Levin, Palmerston North, Masterton, and the Hutt Valley.

A small handful of individuals police spoke to refused to provide information about who was behind the wheel committing these offences. They received a notice requesting the drivers details within 14 days. Failure to comply with this notice will result in a court summons.

Three people have been summonsed for loss of traction offences.

Acting Road Policing Manager Senior Sergeant Matt Fitzgerald says often offending drivers are surprised when Police turn up on their doorstep to take their vehicles, because they think they have got away with it.

“I hope it gets the message across that anti-social road user behaviour won’t be tolerated and that Police will thoroughly investigate offences and take enforcement action.”

The vehicles still outstanding have alerts to be seized once located.

Senior Sergeant Fitzgerald has praised the brilliant work of staff.

“Police will continue to monitor, investigate and hold to account. The road is not a playground. The reckless driving behaviour presents a danger to themselves and other road users as well.

“Our communities have had enough of the disruption caused by illegal street sacers. I’m thankful for the support that we’re receiving from local residents and businesses to address this unacceptable behaviour.”

Police appeal for information, Leamington

Te Awamutu CIB are seeking information from anyone who was in the area of Burns Street, Leamington on the afternoon of Wednesday, 25 May.

The investigation team is particularly interested in an interaction involving two vehicles on Burns Street, between Moore Street and Arnold Street, between midday and 6pm.

Police are interested in identifying these two vehicles and their occupants, as they believe they may be able to assist enquiries.

If you were in the area at the time and noticed anything out of the ordinary please get in touch.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Police on 105, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously, and refer to file 220528/2655.

Operation Lithium sees drugs seized and three arrested

Three people have been arrested as Police and Customs disrupt plans to import a large shipment of methamphetamine into New Zealand as part of Operation Lithium.

A container filled with pails of grease was searched by Customs and found to contain methamphetamine originating out of Iran.

The total weight of the drug is yet to be determined, however it is expected to be a commercial quantity based on the concealment method.

Operation Lithium is a combined NZ Police National Organised Crime Group (NOCG) and Customs investigation looking into the importation of a significant quantity of methamphetamine into the country.

Customs seized the shipment of Methamphetamine on 10 May 2022 at the Port of Tauranga.

Further investigation into this shipment resulted in the arrest of three Auckland men, aged between 21 and 42 years, yesterday.

All three men have been charged with importing the methamphetamine and the 21-year-old man has also been charged with Threatening to Kill.

They appeared in the Auckland District Court yesterday.

National Organised Crime Group Detective Senior Sergeant Reece Sirl says methamphetamine devastates many vulnerable communities while organised criminal groups continue to profit off this type of offending.

“This seizure at the border is another demonstration of the Police and Customs working together to disrupt and dismantle organised crime networks and to make New Zealand more resilient to transnational organised crime,” he says.

Cam Moore, Customs Manager Investigations, says “Criminal gangs think they are untouchable, but this operation proves them wrong. We have stopped their drugs from reaching the New Zealand market, where it could have had a significant economic and human toll. Customs, Police and our overseas partners have the intelligence, capability and tools to dismantle these criminal networks – and every determination to continue doing so.”

Police cannot rule out further arrests as the investigation is ongoing.

As the matter is now before the Court, Police are unable to comment further.

Operation Dairyland: Police make 19 arrests, lay 25 charges

A Police operation investigating unlawful gang activity across Auckland has seen more than two dozen charges laid in nearly two weeks.

Operation Dairyland continues to investigate a series of firearms incidents and suspicious fires since late May.

Nineteen arrests have been made with 25 charges being laid for firearms and drugs offending. Those arrested are affiliated to the Killer Beez and Tribesmen gangs.

Since the operation began, 21 searches have been executed across Auckland with Police seizing a total of nine firearms and 341 rounds of ammunition.

Police have no tolerance for gun violence and the reckless behaviour that has been on display across our communities in recent weeks.

‘There is no place in our community for gang tensions and the public will continue to see Police responding to any unlawful behaviour by gang members,’ says Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers.

‘This was exemplified last night in Pakuranga after there was information received about suspicious activity potentially involving firearms.’

Armed Police along with the Armed Offenders Squad responded to the area upon receiving this information.

In total, 12 associates of the Tribesmen gang were initially taken into custody and spoken to by Police.

No firearms have been located at this stage, however Police enquiries remain ongoing. One of those associates will face court in relation to breaching his release conditions.

‘These are complex investigations and I would like to acknowledge the diligent work of our staff working on Operation Dairyland along with our frontline Police who respond to incidents as they occur.

‘Police will continue to be visible across communities and work to disrupt and prevent these incidents. Further arrests cannot be ruled out.

‘Information from the public will continue to assist our enquiries. Anyone with information about those illegally in possession of firearms are urged to contact Police on 105 or anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.’

Arrest made following search warrant in Masterton

A 40-year-old patched Tribesman gang member will appear in the Masterton District Court today on a charge relating to the supply of the Class A drug LSD.

The man was arrested during a search warrant at a Masterton residential address last night.

LSD, cannabis, a rifle bolt, rounds of ammunition, and a significant amount of cash was seized during the warrant.

Also arrested at the property was a 35-year-old patched Nomad member who had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

“As part of Operation Cobalt, Wairarapa Police will continue to send a clear message to gang members in our community,” says Wairarapa Area Commander Inspector Scott Miller

“Unlawful behaviour will not be tolerated and will be met with an enforcement response. “

Tauranga Police urge motorists to slow down around road works

People using Cameron Road will be aware of road works currently underway between First and Fifth Avenue. The road works are part of a programme of work underway to make this important thoroughfare safer for all road users.

A 30 km/h temporary speed limit is in place to keep the area safe for contractors working on the road and all road users.

Police will have an increased presence in the area over the coming week and enforcement action will be taken against motorists who do not obey the speed limit.

We are also heading into a long weekend so let’s all be safe on the roads and make sure it’s an enjoyable one. Wear your seatbelt, put your phone away, slow down, and never drive if you’ve been drinking.

Two arrested, drugs and firearm seized in Whangārei search warrant

Northland Police have arrested two people and seized cash, cannabis and a firearm following a search warrant in Whangārei.

A warrant was executed at a Tikipunga house with known gang links on Thursday.

As a result, a pump-action firearm, ammunition, a large amount of cannabis and more than $1400 cash was seized.

A 40-year-old woman was arrested and faces 20 charges of supplying methamphetamine and one of selling cannabis. She is due to reappear in the Whangārei District Court on June 10.

A 19-year-old man has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of cannabis for supply and a representative charge of selling cannabis, and is due to reappear in the Whangārei District Court in July.

‘The ongoing supply of any illicit drug in communities results in huge social harm, negative health implications and financial harm, particularly to drug users and their families,’ says Detective Sergeant Shane Pilmer.

‘Police will continue to actively target those with links to organised crime and those involved in the sale and supply of methamphetamine in our community.

‘Police welcome information from anyone who has concerns about organised crime, the supply of illicit drugs or the illegal possession of firearms in the community.’

Anyone with information is encouraged to report it online at 105.police.govt.nz, call Police on 105, or report it anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police will continue to recover unlawful firearms and prevent firearms-related violence by criminal gangs and organised crime groups, as part of the nationwide Operation Tauwhiro.

Name release, fatal crash, Palmerston North

Police can now release the name of the man who died following a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Milson Line and Richardson Line on Monday 30 May.

He was 48-year-old Bryce Anthony Green of Palmerston North.

Police extend their condolences to his family and friends.

An investigation into circumstances of the crash is ongoing.

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