Drug police to speak to Kronfeld and Coc-Kroft, but neither face charges

By David Fisher

Former All Black Josh Kronfeld and television celebrity Lana Coc-Kroft will this week be spoken to by police investigating the high-profile Auckland drug ring, but they are not facing charges.

Detective Sergeant Mark Osbourne, one of the officers leading the inquiry, confirmed while neither would be arrested or charged, their names had emerged during police inquiries into the drug ring.

Six men have already been arrested and charged while four other people, including another two well-known Kiwi celebrities, have been named in court documents and will face charges, say police.

All have name suppression.

Mr Osbourne would not elaborate on how the names of Coc-Kroft and Kronfeld – who are not among the 10 who will face charges – had come to police attention.

Coc-Kroft's agent, Andy Haden, and Kronfeld have also spoken to the Herald on Sunday.

Kronfeld said he had no idea how his name had got caught up in the talk. "I'm just trying to suss out what all the rumours are."

Mr Osbourne said: "They are on a list of people we are going to be speaking to. They are not going to get charged with anything. They haven't even had an opportunity to be spoken to, or refute, or give an explanation as to why they have been involved."

About Kronfeld, he said: "We will be speaking with him next week. He hasn't got much to worry about."

And about Coc-Kroft, he said: "We will be speaking to her too."

Andy Haden, who represents Coc-Kroft, said police had made no contact with her. "No one has contacted her and all there is to go on is rumour."

Last week Haden said Coc-Kroft was "surprised" to learn her name had been mentioned in speculation about who was involved in the drug ring.

Kronfeld, however, spoke for the first time about his connection with those implicated.

"I'm just trying to find out what's going on myself. I don't know anything," Kronfeld said.

"It's too much ammunition to get hurt here and it's not me that's getting hurt. It's family and friends and people I'm doing stuff for, in terms of charities."

Kronfeld said he was aware his name had appeared on internet sites, and that he had been linked with those caught in the operation. He expected any question about his involvement to be resolved by the middle of this week.

Asked if he was the type to be involved in drugs, Kronfeld said: "I'm not going to go and say anything until I know what the hell is going on. I know a lot of these people who have been mentioned and bandied around.

"It's just ridiculous. I haven't been contacted by police, I haven't spoken to anyone. I haven't been interviewed, I haven't done anything. How does that work in the scheme of things?

"I know nothing other than what I read in the newspaper and what turns up on the web.

"And surprisingly there's enough turning up on the web to make out I'm a drug king of New Zealand. Anyone who knows me knows that's not how it is. I'm as surprised as anyone else."

Meanwhile, police have confirmed an investigation into a Burundi national, Jumaa Mbalawa, 30, led to the discovery of the white-collar drugs ring.

Mbalawa, a failed asylum seeker, is alleged to be the source of cocaine police claim was supplied to The Kingpin, a 55-year-old businessman, charged last week.

- HERALD ON SUNDAY

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