Rob Kidd is a NZME. News Service court reporter based in Auckland.

Arrests made, goods seized in alleged P ring bust

A boat taken in the raid. Photo / Supplied
A boat taken in the raid. Photo / Supplied

A string of people have been through court this afternoon after police busted an alleged P ring with links all over the country.

Police announced this morning that more than 30 search warrants were executed across greater Auckland, Northland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty as part of a major operation against the manufacture and supply of methamphetamine.

A woman, facing 15 charges including possession and supply of the class-A drug, was granted bail on a 24-hour curfew at a Warworth address with her mother.

Read more:
Police seize big haul after armed raids across country

Judge David Harvey granted the 38-year-old interim name suppression because of a potential risk to her fair-trial rights after her lawyer Sanjay Patel raised several issues related to her name being publicised.

Seven men, whose ages ranged from 29 and 59, also arrested in connection with the sting appeared in Auckland District Court this afternoon.

They collectively face dozens of charges alleging the widespread supply of P in Auckland and participation in two connected "organised criminal groups".

The defendants, who each faced fewer charges than their female counterpart, were all granted bail with the exception of two whose applications were postponed until tomorrow.

A car taken in the police raid. Photo / Supplied
A car taken in the police raid. Photo / Supplied

Glenfield resident Ashley Rhodes, 58, pleaded not guilty to a charge of possessing methamphetamine for supply and was remanded on bail until May.

The majority of his co-accused will be back in court in two weeks.

Bail conditions varied but all were ordered not to contact their co-defendants or to consume alcohol or drugs.

With those deemed higher risk, Judge Harvey imposed a 24-hour curfew and in some cases ordered them to surrender their passports.

Money taken in the raid. Photo / Supplied
Money taken in the raid. Photo / Supplied

From before dawn 160 police searched homes and businesses throughout Auckland including upmarket Parnell, Grey Lynn and St Heliers.

Other suburbs caught up in the early morning raids included Mt Eden, Mt Albert, Glen Innes, Botany, Hillsborough, Otahuhu, Mt Wellington, Glenfield, Stanmore Bay , East Tamaki and Manukau.

A motorbike taken in the raid. Photo / Supplied
A motorbike taken in the raid. Photo / Supplied

Raids were also conducted in Kaikohe, Morewa, Hamilton, and Christchurch.

Armed police were used as a precautionary measure to gain entry into properties in central Auckland's Hobson Street, Botany, Whatawhata and Oropi.

Two men were arrested by Armed Offenders members in a car in Auckland's K Road.

Seventeen were detained in the operation most of whom are expected to appear in the Auckland District Court this afternoon.

Casino chips found after the police raid. Photo / Supplied
Casino chips found after the police raid. Photo / Supplied

One man was due to appear in the Kaikohe District Court and two people were due to appear in the Hamilton District Court.

Police said today's swoop was part of a long-running investigation into an organised criminal group alleged to be responsible for a methamphetamine manufacture and supply ring.

Five of those alleged to be involved were members or associates of the Head Hunters gang.

Specialist groups such as the Police Clan Lab and Asset Recovery Teams were also involved in the drug bust.

Two clan labs had been located at residential properties in Oropi in the Bay of Plenty.

"At one of these search warrants in Otahuhu this morning, we've found $6500 worth of casino chips, in the boot of a Mercedes.

"We suspect that these are linked to money laundering; hiding money that's been obtained from selling meth" said Detective Senior Sergeant Lloyd Schmid.

Several vehicles had also been seized from an Otahuhu address, including a highly-modified Nissan GTR Skyline and a 2015 Kawasaki Motorbike.

Bundles of cash, including US dollars, were found.

A Haines Hunter boat, named "Licence to Thrill", was also seized from a South Auckland storage unit.

Further seizures were expected to take place throughout the day, police said.

- NZ Herald

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