Anonymous tip leads police to cannabis haul

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Police recovered 199 mature cannabis plants. Photo / NZ Police
Police recovered 199 mature cannabis plants. Photo / NZ Police

Police have shut down four significant Rotorua drug operations after receiving anonymous tip-offs.

The most recent search warrant was carried out yesterday and resulted in a haul of cannabis plants, seedlings and a firearm.

At Hannah's Bay police found 199 mature cannabis plants, 286 seedlings, more than 2kg of cannabis plant material and an insecure firearm. A 52-year-old man is due to appear in Rotorua District Court on Thursday charged with drugs and firearms-related offences.

An arrest was made in each of the three other operations and these individuals are currently going through the court process.

"All of these growing operations were in residential homes but commercial in size with sophisticated equipment and set-up," said Detective Sergeant Mark Van Kempen.

"We are talking about determined individuals with a complete disregard for the law who are brazen enough to operate under the noses of neighbours and landlords. That is why community information is so crucial. The Rotorua community has shown over the last few weeks that it doesn't want drugs on its doorstep and we can help make that happen.

"A lot of people know what is going on but don't call us because they don't realise that they can do so anonymously. These results show just how much we can do with an anonymous tip.

"The combined value of the drugs seized from these operations is about $200,000 and it is believed that this will have a significant impact on the supply of cannabis from the Rotorua area."

Anonymous information can be provided by contacting your local police station, or by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police want members of the public to know what to look for if they suspect drugs are being grown nearby.

These include:

• Residents increasing fence heights

• Curtains closed day and night

• Windows to homes, sheds and garages being blocked out

• Bright lights on constantly or at strange times

• Sounds of fans continually running

• Locked doors in homes when landlords visit

• Vehicles and people visiting at all hours of the day and night

• A pungent smell

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