Police have arrested eight people in an operation aimed at shutting down a sophisticated methamphetamine and burglary ring in Canterbury.
An investigation was launched after police noted a significant increase in commercial burglaries across Canterbury at the beginning of the year.
Well-organised offenders were targeting premises containing expensive tools, computer and electronic equipment and expensive motor vehicles, as well as cash, police said.
Officers executed search warrants at multiple properties in Christchurch and Loburn this morning, police said.
Eight people were arrested, including four from the same family.
Police seized 263 grams of methamphetamine with a street value of about $263,000, a shotgun and stolen goods including computer equipment, electric items and tools in the raids.
One of those arrested was found at Hornby Mall yesterday with 36 grams of methamphetamine in a bag in his vehicle, along with $3000 in cash.
Detective Inspector Greg Williams said police believe the arrested people are involved in an organised crime group with links to motorcycle gangs in Auckland.
It was allegedly responsible for a series of burglaries as well as widespread methamphetamine dealing and the sale and growth of cannabis across Canterbury, he said..
"This is one of the most significant crime operations seen in the city for some time. It is my view that these arrests will have a significant impact on the supply of methamphetamine into the Canterbury District.
"The investigation has shown the direct link between serious drug dealing and other types of crime. This was a small but highly organised crime group who have wreaked havoc across the region."
Mr Williams said the organised criminal group had allegedly been supplying drugs to significant numbers of people for six months, including some associated with motorcycle gangs in Christchurch.
Six of those arrested are appearing in the Christchurch District Court this afternoon charged with participating in an organised criminal group.
Two of those are also charged with Possession of Methamphetamine for Supply.
Another two people have been released on bail.
- HERALD ONLINE