Operation Coin targeted Wayne Doyle, president of the Head Hunters' east chapter, for alleged criminal wealth.

One of the most influential gang members in New Zealand is the target of a police investigation freezing $6 million of assets.

Wayne Stephen Doyle, 62, is the president of the east chapter of the Head Hunters based in Ellerslie which was raided by police this morning.

Doyle is widely considered to be the godfather of the feared gang which has aggressively expanded across the country in recent years.

While other senior Head Hunters have been jailed in recent years for serious methamphetamine charges, Doyle - who was jailed for murder in the 1980s - has not been convicted of a serious crime for nearly 20 years.

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No one was arrested or charged when the search warrant were executed at the gang's headquarters in Marua Rd, which also doubles as the gang's Fight Club gym and an office for their charitable trust.

But around $6 million of property was restrained following Operation Coin, described by police as an "extensive investigation into alleged accumulation of criminally derived wealth by a senior member of the Head Hunters".

Five properties across Auckland, including the gang's headquarters, linked to Doyle have been frozen by orders granted by the High Court after the police made an application under the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act.

The others are residential homes including a $1.6 million property in the city-fringe suburb of Freemans Bay.

This law forces someone to prove how an asset was paid for.

These cases are determined by the civil level of proof, the "balance of probabilities", rather than the much higher criminal evidential threshold of "beyond reasonable doubt".

"Police are committed to ensuring that people can not accrue wealth and assets as a result of criminal behaviour, at the expense of the safety of our community," said Detective Superintendent Iain Chapman, head of the Police Financial Crime Group.

Chapman also said police are looking for any information from the public or "professional bodies who are engaged in the financial affairs of the Head Hunters gang".

Operation Coin is also likely to investigate the finances of the Head Hunters' charitable trust. Photo/NZ Herald.
Operation Coin is also likely to investigate the finances of the Head Hunters' charitable trust. Photo/NZ Herald.

This is likely to include the "That Was Then, This Is Now" charitable trust.

The trust deed states it wants to be a bridge between prison and the community by integrating former inmates into society through fitness and sport.

The motorcycle gang recently won an appeal in an ongoing legal battle after the trust was deregistered as a charity.

Charities Registration Board did not believe the trust was fulfilling its charitable purpose of rehabilitating prisoners, but agreed to reconsider the decision after an appeal to the High Court in April.

Nearly $500,000 is in the trust's bank account, according to 2016 charity records.

In recent years, the Head Hunters have been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

There have been a number of senior members from Doyle's East Auckland chapter who have been jailed for running separate methamphetamine manufacturing rings.

But peers like William "Bird" Hines, David Gerrard O'Carroll and Brownie Harding are all serving lengthy prison sentences.

Doyle was not charged during those police operations and has not been in serious trouble with the police for nearly 20 years.

However his criminal history includes a conviction for murder.

Doyle was one of two Head Hunter found guilty of the murder of Siaso Evalu, a King Cobra, who died after a street brawl with the rival gang.

Police talk to Wayne Doyle, left, and other Head Hunters during search warrant at gang's Ellerslie base. Photo/NZ Herald.
Police talk to Wayne Doyle, left, and other Head Hunters during search warrant at gang's Ellerslie base. Photo/NZ Herald.