P, cannabis, Ecstasy, $700,000 cash, an AK-47, two other firearms and five cars were found by police in a series of searches in Manawatu recently.

Officers searched a number of homes and storage facilities in Palmerston North, Feilding and Ashhurst as part of Operation Zippo, targeting organised crime in the area.

Detective Sergeant Dave Thompson said 13 people have been arrested so far - with four people arrested just yesterday.

He said a specialist drug dog was used in the searches, which found: 580g of methamphetamine, 1.2kg of MDMA, 10kg of cannabis plants, 175g of hashish, 300ml of Fantasy, three guns including an AK-47 and $699,000 in cash.


Five cars, including European models, were also recovered.

Thompson said that yesterday's searches, which netted a large amount of those items, resulted in the arrest of four people.

A 52-year-old Palmerston North man was arrested after stopping his vehicle for police just south of Paekakariki. Two women, aged 36- and 21-years-old, and a 21-year-old man were arrested at the addresses.

In the time leading up to yesterday's operations, Thompson said nine others were arrested and all faced a range of serious drug charges.

"We are thrilled with the outcome of the investigation and are confident the group involved in the supply of methamphetamine has been dismantled," he said.

"It again shows that people involved in this drug are driven by greed and will continually look to profit from it. This is at the expense of those who are addicted to its use.

"The impact on our community with methamphetamine supply and its subsequent use is huge. Taking out any supply network is satisfying in our attempts to lessen that impact."

The 52-year-old man appeared in court today charged with possession of methamphetamine for supply; possession of cannabis for supply; and the unlawful possession of a firearm.

The 36-year-old woman also appeared in court and was charged with possession of methamphetamine for supply.

The remaining accused were yet to appear.

*Anyone with information about drug harm in their communities can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.