A media personality and accountant will now wait for a judge to decide if they will keep their identities secret after being arrested in a major police operation against the Comanchero Motorcycle Gang.

They, along with an accused lawyer and "housewife", argued for continued name suppression today in the High Court at Auckland in front of Justice Grant Powell, who reserved his decisions.

The now 37-year-old media man has pleaded not guilty to the allegations against him, which include jointly laundering about $300,000.

The District Court earlier heard the media personality has been told his job prospects are "in danger" as a result of the criminal proceedings.


Ron Mansfield, the media personality's counsel, echoed the argument today and said his client's contract would be terminated if he was named.

His reputation will also be tarnished and will be "effectively unemployable within the media", Mansfield said.

The media company the personality works for is aware of the charges he faces, the court heard.

The Rolls Royce Wraith police seized. Photo / Supplied
The Rolls Royce Wraith police seized. Photo / Supplied

A 41-year-old lawyer, who is charged with eight counts of laundering more than $2.4m and is accused of participating in the organised criminal group, also fought to keep his name secret.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

His counsel, Guyon Foley, said he wanted name suppression due to the effect publication may have on people connected to him.

The accused lawyer has provided a written undertaking to the Law Society to not practice and has closed his law firm, the court heard.

Justice Powell granted interim name suppression until another hearing in the High Court on November 27, when it is expected the order will lapse.


An Auckland accountant also sought to keep his name hidden today.

The now 41-year-old was arrested during the April raids and is now accused of laundering about $750,000, and cocaine possession.

He has denied the allegations and his counsel Simon Lance argued if his client's name was published his business interests would suffer.

He also said the accountant holds fears for the safety of his family should he be publicly connected to the gang.

Lance added if Justice Powell declined name suppression for his client he would seek to take the case to the Court of Appeal.

The 38-year-old "housewife" successfully sought name suppression today.

One of several late model Range Rovers seized during Operation Novo. Photo / Supplied
One of several late model Range Rovers seized during Operation Novo. Photo / Supplied

Operation Nova, the year-long police investigation into the Comancheros, arrested several people for alleged organised crime, money laundering and drug supply.

More than 80 police officers raided Auckland properties in mid-April, which also led to about $4 million of assets being seized by police, including firearms and several luxury vehicles such as a Rolls-Royce Wraith and gold-plated Harley Davidson motorcycles.

Others arrested in the raids include Connor Clausen, 28, Jarome Fonua, now 25, Tyson Daniels, 30, and Pasilika Naufahu, now 32, who is the gang's New Zealand chapter president.

All have said they will defend the money laundering and drugs charges against them and are due to go to trial next September along with the lawyer, accountant, media man and housewife.

Several others have been arrested this year and are accused of money laundering and being connected to the gang.

A gold-plated Harley Davidson was seized. Photo / Supplied
A gold-plated Harley Davidson was seized. Photo / Supplied

Included in the nearly $4m of frozen assets was a $1.6m home in the exclusive east Auckland suburb of Bucklands Beach where Naufahu was living.


A $10,000 gold chain and a $13,000 Louis Vuitton bag were among some of luxury items seized.

Police have said they believe the gang was importing drugs into New Zealand and has laundered millions of dollars.

Investigators also said the Comancheros were assisted by notorious international drug syndicate the Sinaloa cartel, which was founded by imprisoned drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

The Sinaloa cartel is considered to be the largest drug trafficking organisation in the world.

In mid-2018 a Herald investigation revealed the growing influence of Mexican and South American cartels in New Zealand hoping to cash in on a highly profitable drug trade.

Since then, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been granted permission by the US Congress to set up offices in Auckland and Wellington and target the cartels.


The Comancheros in Aotearoa are nicknamed the "501s" because of the "character grounds" section of the immigration law used to deport many of them from Australia.

The Herald first revealed the gang's arrival in Aotearoa in 2017 after a series of photographs were posted on social media.

The club was part of Australia's most infamous gang battles: the 1984 "Milperra Massacre" shooting with their rivals the Bandidos and a 2009 brawl at Sydney's international airport where a Hell's Angels member was beaten to death.