Jared Savage

Jared Savage is the New Zealand Herald's investigations editor.

Gang members' aliases revealed by police

Items seized during Operation Genoa were worth more than $3 million in assets and included a Ferrari, Porsche and Maserati. Photo / Richard Robinson
Items seized during Operation Genoa were worth more than $3 million in assets and included a Ferrari, Porsche and Maserati. Photo / Richard Robinson

Detectives investigating an alleged drug ring led by senior Head Hunter gang members have released a list of aliases believed to be used by the group.

The Herald revealed today that dozens of fake driving licences and a false passport were allegedly used by a drug ring to hide luxury cars, millions of dollars in cash, firearms and property.

Those false identities have now been released publicly in a bid by the police to find more hidden assets believed to be purchased by the group.

"Police are particularly interested in hearing from owners and operators of storage unit facilities around the Auckland region," said a spokesman.

"It is believed some of these false identities have been used to rent storage space which was used to store drugs, guns and currency.

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ALLEGED ALIASES
If you recognise any of these names, please call Detective Jason Hunt on 021 192 0773

Robyn Ana CRAIG
Michelle Lisa BROADBENT
Vanessa Lee WHITE
Katie Ann GAGILIO
Sarah Ann BLACKBURN
Patricia RICE
Patricia Anne RICEN
Esta Leesa STEELE
Maria HILTON
Nicole MARKS
Paul Michael COLLINS
Michael John ARCHER
Paul Michael ALEXANDER
Carl Neale HAPETA
Dave ANDERSON
Michael ARCHER
Michael Paul ALEXANDER
Dale Paul COLLINS
Michael Paul COLLINS
Victoria Beatrice ARCHER
Melissa Valerie GUNN
Victoria Christine ARCHER
Victoria Marie ARCHER
Michelle ALEXANDRA
Lisa SHAW
Nina MUNRO
Christopher GREEN

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Two senior Head Hunter gang members were arrested on Monday after a covert investigation into methamphetamine manufacture. Detectives found a machine used to forge New Zealand driving licences and dozens of drivers' licences used as aliases for seven of the eight people arrested this week in Operation Genoa.

The fake identification was allegedly used to rent storage facilities to conceal cash and cars, set up bank accounts and safety deposit boxes, rent a boat mooring, obtain a false passport, purchase property - even book a dinner.

Detective Inspector Bruce Good said the false identities were to help members of the group to avoid detection, but also to hide assets from the police who can seize them under powerful legislation.

"We've found 16 storage facilities and finding more each day. One of them hadn't been touched since 2011 and it had $300,000 inside," Mr Good told the Herald on Tuesday.

"We say they've used false ID to open storage [facilities] or purchase assets, like a vehicle, in someone else's name. So when the police come along, they're hoping that we don't find out about the false identity and take the assets. It's one way of trying to get around the asset forfeiture laws."

The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act came into force in 2009 and essentially forces someone to prove how an asset was paid for - even if they were acquitted on criminal charges.

More than $3 million of assets were seized in Operation Genoa, including $2 million cash, luxury cars including a Ferrari, Porsche and a Maserati, a 9m launch, five properties and gold and silver bars.

Two of the eight individuals arrested were senior patched Head Hunters Michael Joseph Cavanagh, 40, and 49-year-old David Gerrard O'Carroll. O'Carroll is in Auckland Hospital after being bitten by police dogs when trying to flee in the raids on his home.

The others arrested are Shannon Kay Stevens, Peter Matthew Shaw, Deborah Anne Henry, Victoria Louise Cavanagh, Lisa Marie Ryan and Nigel John Bowker. They face a range of charges including manufacturing methamphetamine, money laundering, unlawful possession of a restricted weapon, obtaining false documents and participating in an organised criminal group.

Mr Good, who has overseen the largest drug inquiries in New Zealand, said Operation Genoa showed the demand for methamphetamine was "substantial and isn't going away".

"Let's not kid ourselves," Mr Good said. "These aren't the only people manufacturing. That concerns me."

- NZ Herald

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