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‘Significant’ haul of drugs, firearms, and cash seized in Northland

Operation Cobalt news

Northland Police have uncovered a myriad of stolen property, firearms, and drugs, and more than 50 charges have been laid as work continues to disrupt gang activity as part of Operation Cobalt.

Over the last week, Police from Northland’s Organised Crime Teams have executed a number of search warrants in the Far North targeting an alleged methamphetamine distribution network.

The 10 warrants across Kaitaia, Taipa, Kaikohe, and Kaeo, led Police to the discovery of sixteen firearms, including several prohibited weapons, and ammunition.

significant haul of drugs2
significant haul of drugs3
significant haul of drugs4

Forty-five grams of methamphetamine, 250 cannabis plants, $36,000 of cash, and $50,000 worth of stolen property, including vehicles, was also subsequently located and seized.

Nine people, who are alleged to be linked to a number of gangs, including Tribesman, Head Hunters, and the Mongrel Mob, have been arrested.

Together, they are facing 57 charges between them, relating to possession of methamphetamine for supply, supplies methamphetamine, cultivates cannabis, and unlawful possession of firearms.

Of note, a 40-year-old woman from Kaitaia with strong links to the Tribesman Gang was arrested on 27 February and is facing three counts of possession of methamphetamine for supply and nine counts of supplying methamphetamine.

A 50-year-old Taipa man, with strong links to several criminal gangs, was arrested the 28 February and charged with possession of methamphetamine for supply, cultivates cannabis, and possession of substances capable of manufacturing methamphetamine.

They have both been remanded in custody and are due to reappear in the Kaitaia District Court on 15 March 2023.

Additionally, a 35-year-old woman from Kaitaia, with links to the Mongrel Mob Gang, was arrested on 6 March and charged with possession of cannabis for supply, as well as 25 counts of supplies methamphetamine.

She is due to appear in the Kaitaia District Court today.

The six others are due to reappear in the Kaitia District Court in due course.

Northland CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Kevan Verry says Northland Police remain committed through Operation Cobalt to target those gang offenders who are causing the most harm to our communities.

“This latest operation is a culmination of several months of investigation work generated by intelligence we have received from our communities.

“We know that drugs are a driver of crime and that members of gangs and their wider criminal syndicates prey on the addiction of our communities, and have no qualms to make a profit off the misery of others.”

Detective Senior Sergeant Verry says Police are dedicated to disrupting their illicit activities and where appropriate, hold those offenders to account.

“Police are also focused on helping break the drug addiction cycle and will continue to reach out to customers we identify of drug suppliers to offer a variety of support services and opportunities.

“Whilst the operation focused on the distributors of methamphetamine, it was also supported by staff from Northland Meth Harm Reduction Team, who have been following up on identified drug users to conduct home visits to proactively offer them help to break the addiction cycle.

‘We welcome information from anyone who has concerns about organised crime, gang activity, or the illegal possession of firearms in their community. We rely on the eyes and ears of our community and Whanau members who can help reduce the harm in our communities.’

They are encouraged to report online at 105.police.govt.nz, call Police on 105, or report anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-nz.org.

If it is happening now, please call 111.

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Source:NZ Police

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