Drug bust: $17m of meth seized following an Auckland police investigation into Bandidos motorcycle gang

Police and Customs have seized $17 million of methamphetamine after a seven-month investigation.

The joint operation focused on the importation of meth by a member of the Thailand chapter of the Bandidos motorcycle gang.

Along with the drugs, approximately $150,000 of recently purchased jewellery and $200,000 cash were also recovered.

Three people have now been arrested and charged with importing methamphetamine, supplying methamphetamine and money laundering.

Detective Senior Sergeant Albie Alexander of the Counties Manukau organised crime unit said the drugs recovered were destined for the New Zealand market.

"The seizure of such a substantial amount sends a clear picture that police will continue to work with our partner agencies to disrupt the supply chain and reduce the harm caused by this drug.

"Methamphetamine is a significant driver of crime in New Zealand. It ruins lives, destroys families and does enormous damage to our communities."

Customs Investigations manager Maurice O'Brien said the co-operation between police and Customs provided an "efficient and layered enforcement service for our communities against this insidious drug, and this is a great result".

Venkant Raman, who is a member of the Counties Manukau South Asian Advisory Board, said the result was heartening.

"Their vigilance, planning, and meticulous investigation has led to the arrest of those allegedly involved in illegal trading of drugs, money laundering and other social evils.

"The impact of drugs on our communities can be devastating, and we as a community need to all stand up and say that we will not accept it."

Three men aged 54, 31 and 28 have appeared in Manukau District Court and will next appear later this month.

Police cannot rule out the possibility of further charges, and investigations are continuing.

- NZ Herald

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