Kauri gum charges withdrawn

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Stolen Kauri Gum allegedly found at the Scarlet Lounge in September. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Stolen Kauri Gum allegedly found at the Scarlet Lounge in September. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Charges of receiving kauri gum worth $25,000 have been withdrawn against a Whangarei man.

Weiquan Yang, 44, whose occupation in court documents was listed as butcher, was charged with two counts of receiving kauri gum in September.

The charges followed the discovery of banana boxes, fish bins and sacks filled with mostly chunks of unpolished kauri gum during a search of the Scarlet Lounge on Clyde St.

Yang was to stand trial before a judge alone in the Whangarei District Court this week but police withdrew the charges.

Police had searched the Scarlet Lounge and a rural property at Oakleigh, south of Whangarei. Some of the kauri gum was returned after Yang produced receipts.

Previously, police said evidence, including phone records, would be produced by 15 witnesses during the trial.

Northland police said kauri gum had been targeted in the region over the past 12 months and believed it was being exported to the Chinese market. In May last year, thieves raided cabinets at Waiharara's Gumdiggers' Park and stole about 80 pieces of polished gum.

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