44 in dock after drug raids

More than 40 people facing drugs charges following a huge police operation in May will be back in court in August for depositions.

Forty-four people reappeared in Manukau District Court this week to face charges on a variety of offences, including the supply and possession of drugs, firearms offences and money laundering.

Crown lawyer David Johnstone said a number of charges had been slightly amended to ensure the correct people were grouped together for joint charges.

He said there were six groups of defendants, though some individuals were part of more than one group and one of them was in three groups.

A number of the alleged offenders are already on bail and Mr Johnstone said some others were expected to apply for bail next week.

The alleged offenders were arrested following a crackdown on methamphetamine in May.

During the operation, police seized $200,000 in cash, 538g of pure methamphetamine with a street value of more than $500,000, nearly 400g of cannabis, 15 vehicles under the Proceeds of Crimes Act, 12 firearms and all the assets from the business premises of Colourway Records in Otara.

Many of those arrested are allegedly members of or have connections to the organised criminal gangs the Killer Beez and the Tribesmen.

- NZPA

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