Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Gang member arrested after major police operation in Far North

Police at the scene were remaining tight lipped about their operation but said a statement would be released soon. Photo / File
Police at the scene were remaining tight lipped about their operation but said a statement would be released soon. Photo / File

A Tribesman gang member wanted in connection with the disappearance of Far North man Kimble Taipo Moore has been arrested.

The Herald can reveal that Rawden James Yates, 35, is in police custody after being arrested by armed police on the Karikari Peninsula earlier this afternoon.

In a statement police confirmed a 35-year-old man wanted on warrants for alleged offending including aggravated robbery and kidnapping had been arrested in Whatuwhiwhi township.

A source confirmed it was Yates.

Mr Moore was reported missing by his partner in mid-March and has not been heard from since. He has not been heard from since March 17.

The 48-year-old is also a member of the Tribesman gang and at the time of his disappearance police said he was last seen in the company of Yates, known as "Big Boy".

Yates was said to have access to firearms and police warned he should not be approached.

After Yates' arrest today police appealed for sightings of the vehicle he was located in.

It is believed he has been using the Nissan Patrol 4x4 with the registration numbers TQ2892 for the last few days.

This afternoon armed police converged on Inland Rd off State Highway 10 - the main road that runs up the Karikari Peninsula to Matai Bay.

All cars entering and exiting the road were stopped and searched by armed officers.

A man who had his car stopped by police took to Facebook soon after to share his experience.

He said armed officers searched his car and boot and it was "scary".

They told him they were looking for someone and that the person had been "missing" for a week.

A road block was set up at the Lake Ohia Rd intersection.

There were five marked police cars at the roadblock, including a police dog and handler.

Lake Ohia Rd was blocked and officers dressed in black were seen on the road.

On March 30 an area of isolated bush was was searched by police, a dog handler from Auckland with a cadaver dog trained to locate bodies, and 11 Search and Rescue volunteers. Police said they were looking for Mr Moore's body. Nothing was found.

• Anyone with information relating to Rawden Yates or Kimble Moore should contact the Kaitaia Police on 09 408 6500 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

- NZ Herald

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