Seven Aucklanders have been arrested on drugs charges following a long-running investigation into a methamphetamine and commercial cannabis distribution network.

The arrests follow an inquiry involving police and Customs into a criminal syndicate where members were primarily using residential properties to set up sophisticated indoor cannabis growing systems.

Police first arrested a 34-year-old male from Manurewa last Thursday on charges relating to the importing of methamphetamine following the discovery of 7.6kgs of methamphetamine.

He is next due to appear in the Manukau District Court on January 23.


Today, Police with the help of Customs executed a number of search warrants in Flat Bush, Papatoetoe and East Tamaki and made a further six arrests.

Five males and one female, aged between 24 and 49-years-old are due to appear in the Manukau District Court today on charges relating to the cultivation of cannabis.

Police also seized a large amount of cash, a quantity of pills and powder which are in the process of being tested.

Inquiries are ongoing following these warrants and police cannot rule out the possibility of further charges.

Detective Inspector Paul Newman from the National Organised Crime Group said the properties involved in such activities can be extremely difficult to identify.

"What they do have in common is that the curtains are invariably drawn to assist in cannabis growth conditions and to prevent prying eyes from identifying criminal activity," he said.

"This group were dealing in large amounts of methamphetamine and cannabis and their actions mirror similar operations recently uncovered in Australia where criminal groups, primarily of Vietnamese descent, were running a large number of indoor cannabis growing operations.

"This is a good example of an organised syndicate with international connections who we believe are using the profits from commercial cannabis sales to fund operations around the importation of methamphetamine."


Customs manager of investigations, Bruce Berry said this operation is a great demonstration of Customs and Police working together.

"This is great investigative work by the Police and Customs staff involved in an extensive operation targeting drug syndicates that brings so much harm to our communities," he said.

Any member of the public who has concerns is encouraged to contact their local police station or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.