Homes, classic cars, firearms, cash, and more than $3 million worth of cannabis plants have all been seized in a large police bust.
Officers searched 23 properties in the Bay of Plenty today in the culmination of a six-month-long investigation, police say.
One hundred and sixty cops searched properties in Taupō, Hamilton and Rotorua in a crackdown on the organised crime syndicate.
Under a High Court order police seized three residential houses, five vehicles, including two classic cars, nine Harley Davidson motorcycles, a jet ski, jewellery, and more than $100,000 cash.
A stash of cannabis plants - approximately 3450 - valued at around $3.2 million, and seven firearms, including three semi-automatic military-style rifles and one semi-automatic shotgun were also seized.
"During the warrants 20 people were arrested, 12 of whom have been remanded in custody," police said in a statement.
"All are due to appear in Rotorua District Court tomorrow, on charges relating to cannabis cultivation and supply, and participation in an organised criminal group."
"Some will also face firearms-related charges."
Detective senior sergeant Keith Kay, officer in charge of the Waikato/Bay of Plenty asset recovery unit, said the confiscation of assets bought with the proceeds of crime ensured criminals didn't benefit from their activities.
"Organised crime is all about money," she said.
"Asset recovery units are working extremely hard pursuing assets and holding people to account right across New Zealand and this is just another example of our commitment to communities."
Rotorua area commander Inspector Phil Taikato said that after months of work, police investigators today disrupted the syndicate's criminal activity.
"We know that greed is driving these offenders who have been operating in an organised and sophisticated way to spread harm in our communities," he said.
"They push drugs onto vulnerable users and suck money and resources out of some of our most deprived communities."
Can you help? Local information on organised crime is invaluable to police in investigating crime and preventing harm.
Information can be provided to police via 105 (phone or online reporting), or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.