Police officer facing 27 drug charges

By Abby Gillies

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A sworn police officer facing a raft of charges relating to the manufacture and distribution of drugs has been denied bail.

Father of five, Peter Pakau, was arrested today on 27 counts relating to methamphetamine, in addition to allegedly accessing the police computer system and supplying information to gang members.

The 36-year-old from Henderson stood in the dock with his arms folded during his appearance at Waitakere District Court.

His wife Diane Pakau, a Waikato health worker, and seven others arrested in relation to the alleged criminal enterprise also appeared at court.

Peter Pakau is allegedly part of the enterprise which manufactured and distributed methamphetamine.

He was linked to two methamphetamine cooks who he organised to manufacture the drug, which he would then take in "substantial amounts'' to his dealer or supplier, according to the summary of facts.

"His role was significant because he was accessing the police computer system'', said Crown prosecutor Brett Tantrum.

The information was used to advise Pakau's associates who included members of the Head Hunters gang, he said.

The drugs charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Pakau is also charged with conspiring to defeat the course of justice on three occasions and theft of a vehicle, and further charges against him were likely, Mr Tantrum said.

"These are gravely serious allegations in that you, as a sworn police officer, have been charged with serious drugs-related matters,'' said Judge Lisa Tremewan.

A police investigation involved tracking devices on Pakau's car, and evidence included details of him accessing the police computer system and intercepted communications he took part in, the court heard.

Peter Pakau's lawyer Denise Wallwork sought name suppression for her client, arguing not doing so could cause "extreme hardship'' to his elderly mother with a heart condition, who she said was not aware of the charges.

However, Mr Tantrum said Pakau's mother was present when Pakau was arrested today.

Ms Wallwork also sought bail for Pakau, saying he had no previous convictions and if imprisoned, could be subjected to harassment.

Pakau and his wife have five children aged one to 16-years-old, including a four-year-old who recently suffered head injuries in a car accident and needed ongoing care, Ms Wallwork told the court.

Mr Tantrum said police opposed bail. He said because of Pakau's past access to the police computer system there was a risk of him interfering with evidence or witnesses.

Judge Tremewan agreed and said she was not convinced by the defence lawyer's argument to bail Pakau.

She remanded him in custody until a plea inquiry hearing next month.

Pakau could be kept in segregation if there was a risk of harassment to him, she said.

Diane Pakau, Shane Boag, Paul Holloway, Melissa Brown and four others have also been charged in relation to the criminal group.

The arrests were "the culmination of a detailed investigation and reflected the police's commitment to reducing the harm caused by drugs in the community,'' said Detective Inspector Bruce Scott.

Pakau graduated from Police College in 2008, winning a section achievement award for his contribution to the success of his wing.

He was posted to Henderson

A year later he was acknowledged for rescuing a woman being assaulted during a domestic incident in Waitakere when he reportedly tackled her offender to the ground.

- APNZ

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