A Thai community leader has expressed relief at the arrests of nine people in connection with the kidnapping and death of Thai woman Jindarat Prutsiriporn.

Ms Prutsiriporn, 50, escaped bound and gagged from the boot of a moving car on a South Auckland street in March.

She later died from her injuries in Middlemore Hospital.

A graphic tale is unfolding in South Auckland tonight with a man saying he saw a woman - bound and gagged - fall from the boot of a moving car onto a residential street. The woman is in a critical condition in Middlemore Hospital after the 7pm incident on Huia Rd near the corner of East Tamaki Rd, Papatoetoe.

Five men, aged between 25 and 33 have been charged with manslaughter and kidnapping, while three men, age 23-25, and a 29-year-old woman face a kidnapping charge only.

Some of the accused are members of the Head Hunters gang East Auckland chapter, police said.


They are due to appear in the Manukau District Court tomorrow.

Thai Society NZ president Songvut Manoonpong said he was relieved at news of the arrests.

"Everyone is relieved."

However he said "he stopped following the news" and the woman's family "didn't want to get involved in this anymore".

This morning police executed search warrants at 13 Auckland properties in an operation involving 100 police staff and members of the Auckland armed offenders squad.

Police said the arrests came after investigations into Operation Sisal.

Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said the arrests followed 10 weeks of tireless investigation work.

"This was a complex investigation with a number of people allegedly involved. I hope the arrests can provide some comfort to Jindarat's family and the wider community," he said.
Police are not ruling out further arrests.


They also said the alleged motivation behind the kidnapping was drug-related and involved organised crime, including Head Hunters members.

"Gang crime thrives on instilling fear and controlling people. Communities, government, police, educators, families and friends of gang members have to work together against gang crime to make prevention work."

Meanwhile, a woman who was found gagged and bound, north of Auckland on Monday remains in a critical but stable condition tonight with head injuries in Auckland Hospital, a spokesman said.

Her family were were by her side.

The woman, whose identity was initially a mystery, was found by a member of the public on a Dome Valley road.

Police have refused to release her identity and said no further details about the investigation would be released.

"Whilst we appreciate that there is ongoing interest in the incident, our priority is to ensure a thorough and robust investigation and for that reason we are unable to comment on any specific lines of inquiry at this stage," the spokeswoman said.

A police spokesman said this evening no arrests have been made.

There was no evidence to suggest any link between the two incidents.