Eight people have been arrested on drug-related charges after a number of search warrants were carried out in Tauranga, Paeroa and Rotorua.
The search warrants followed a two-month investigation by Police’s National Organised Crime Group into a significant drug-dealing network operating in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions.
Six women and two men, aged from 28 to 55 years, were arrested on Tuesday.
They face a total of 42 charges including importing methamphetamine, GBL and MDMA, and possession and distribution of these drugs.
Detective Senior Sergeant Brett Shields says 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.
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.
Police 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.
“They destroy the lives of users, as well as hurting users’ families and loved ones.”
He says they are 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.
Those arrested will appear in Whakatāne, Hamilton and Rotorua District Courts in the coming days.
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