Arrests made and charges laid as Police target organised crime group

Some of the 18 vehicles and four Harley Davidson motorcycles seized during Operation Audi
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Wellington Police have charged 11 people for their roles in a syndicate allegedly responsible for supplying the class A controlled drug methamphetamine.

Detective Senior Sergeant Hamish Blackburn of the Wellington District Organised Crime Unit says Operation Audi is an investigation into a Mongrel Mob Kartel chapter whose drug syndicate is responsible for supplying methamphetamine across the Wellington region.

The charges were laid after 24 search warrants were carried out at properties in Wellington, Porirua and Palmerston North in the past two days.  Eight men and three women aged between 18 and 53 years-old have been arrested and will appear in court on charges including possession for supply and offering of class A, B and C controlled drugs, unlawful possession of firearms, perverting the course of justice, money laundering and aggravated burglary.

Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, five firearms, ammunition, methamphetamine, GBL and cannabis were seized.  A significant amount of assets were also restrained during the termination including 18 vehicles, 4 Harley Davidson motorcycles, a jet-ski and a boatshed.

“The combination of drugs and firearms is always a potentially lethal recipe for harm and continues to be a major concern for Police and the wider community”, says Detective Senior Sergeant Blackburn.

“Police have deployed over 100 staff into the Wellington and Palmerston North area over the last two days of this termination and we have made a significant dent in this group’s supply chain, while holding offenders to account for their actions.”

Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Fischer of the Asset Recovery Unit says, “This is a group that has been well organised and prolific in their offending, through which they have been generating illicit wealth for their own personal gains.  Restraining their vehicles, money and high value goods eliminates the primary motive they have for offending – the accumulation of illicit wealth.

The suppression of this offending makes New Zealand’s communities safer.”

Police encourage anyone with information about illegal activity taking place in their community to contact 105, or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If there is immediate risk to life or property, call 111.