A North Shore man accused of manufacturing a huge amount of synthetic drugs has pleaded not guilty.

Gary Mark Thompson, 58, of Red Beach, appeared in the North Shore District Court for a second time today.

He is facing four charges relating to the seizure of synthetic drugs police say would have had a street value of $1.5 million.

Court documents show Thompson has been accused of importing a psychoactive substance as well as charged with manufacturing and possession with intent to sell.

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A second man has been jointly charged with manufacturing.


Judge Josephine Bouchier allowed the Herald to photograph Thompson in court during the short appearance.

His lawyer Simon Lance sought a further remand on bail and

Thompson will next appear in court in January.

Last month Detective Inspector John Sutton said Thompson's arrest was "significant".

The arrest was part of Operation Tiger, which is an ongoing operation to target the importation of psychoactive substances.

The investigation began after Customs seized 1kg each of AMB-Fubinaca and AB-Pinaca, the psychoactive substances often used to make synthetic drugs.

Police "worked in the background" and last month searched properties in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch.

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"Our most significant find was a storage unit in Rodney where 11kg of finished synthetic drugs were found and another 1kg of AMB-Fubinaca," Sutton said.

"The 1kg located by police and the 2kg by Customs would be sufficient to manufacture around 150kg of synthetic drugs, that's approximately 75,000, 2g doses of the drug, which is worth a street value of $1.5 million.

"The 11kg of finished synthetic drugs located in the storage unit would have had an approximate street value of $110,000."