Even if a Mongrel Mob president succeeds in defending criminal and civil court cases involving allegations of supplying methamphetamine, he has lost his prized Ford Raptor. A judge ordered the truck to be sold as the vehicles seized by police depreciate in value cost too much to store safely. But he did get to keep one car - for now.

A prized ute which a Mongrel Mob president purchased for $90,000 is to be sold before his trial on methamphetamine charges.

However, a "relatively rare" kitset car also seized during police raids on the gang member's Kawerau home last year will be kept in storage, after a High Court judge ruled the vehicle might even increase in value during the protracted court case.

The Ford Raptor ute and the AC Cobra were among a number of assets owned by Frank Amadeus Milosevic, who was charged with methamphetamine supply offences in March 2018 after Operation Notus.

Milosevic has pleaded not guilty to the charges and his criminal trial, which could take months, is likely to begin in the middle of next year.

Advertisement

In a separate civil case, the police also restrained a number of Milosevic's assets, including his home, the Raptor, the Cobra, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a Toyota van - mainly used to transport a local junior league team - a jetski and two boats.

The assets are frozen under the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act in which cases are determined by the civil level of proof, the "balance of probabilities", rather than the higher evidential threshold of "beyond reasonable doubt" in criminal prosecutions.

In some situations, this can mean assets can be forfeited to the Crown following the civil case even if someone is acquitted of criminal charges - or never prosecuted at all.

Special Report: Inside NZ's largest meth bust

WATCH: Fighting the Demon documentary

READ MORE: Why NZ is losing the War on P

Rock solid evidence: 267kg of meth mixed in concrete

The prison interview: Meth, the Mobster and his mum.

Advertisement

However, the civil case against Milosevic will not take place until after the criminal trial case has ended, meaning late next year or even 2021.

To stop the sale value of the vehicles dropping further during the delay, as well as saving on storage costs, the police asked Justice Anne Hinton to allow them to sell the restrained vehicles.

The money would then be held by the Official Assignee until a judge could rule on whether Milosevic's assets would be forfeited permanently to the Crown.

According to the judgment of Justice Hinton, Milosevic purchased the Raptor for $90,000 in February 2016.

The Official Assignee obtained a 2018 valuation of $32,000 but accepted the Raptor may sell for a much higher price.

It cost $13.50 a day, or $4900 a year, to store the ute safely.

In opposing the order for sale, Milosevic argued the Raptor was uncommon and "difficult to replace". He offered to keep the Raptor at his house to reduce the storage cost.

But Justice Hinton pointed out there were six or seven Ford Raptors for sale on TradeMe on the day of the hearing.

"That point gains no traction . . . weighing all of these matters, I consider it appropriate to order a sale of the Raptor, given the potential depreciation and storage costs and length of time until the forfeiture proceeding is resolved," Justice Hinton wrote.

"There are no special factors relating to it and storage with [Milosevic] is not an option."

For similar reasons, Justice Hinton ordered the sale of the Harley-Davidson, a Toyota van and ute, as well as two fishing boats.

Milosevic unsuccessfully argued the Harley-Davidson did not belong to him, but to the Kawerau Mongrel Mob as a memorial to Tahu Kingi, a longstanding member who died in 2017.

His funeral procession lit the fuse on a feud between the Black Power and Mongrel Mob, leading to shots being fired in an ambush in nearby Whakatane.

Justice Hinton noted that up until the time of the Harley's seizure, nothing had been done to physically memorialise or change the motorcycle other than to add the Mongrel Mob logo on top of the fuel tank.

"Mr Milosevic and his younger son appear to be the only people who have been seen riding the bike," wrote Justice Hinton.

The AC Cobra will not be sold until the civil case against Frank Milosevic is heard. Photo / Alan Gibson
The AC Cobra will not be sold until the civil case against Frank Milosevic is heard. Photo / Alan Gibson
The vehicles being taken away by police during Operation Notus. Photo / Alan Gibson
The vehicles being taken away by police during Operation Notus. Photo / Alan Gibson

However, she ruled in favour of Milosevic, who gave evidence of his "longstanding interest" in owning an AC Cobra, which he purchased in 2012.

Evidence was also given the Cobra would hold its value - estimated between $15,000 and $45,000 - or even increase.

"I am also persuaded that the Cobra, while not unique, is relatively rare," Justice Hinton wrote.

"I have to conclude that the AC Cobra will likely not decrease in value, and may even increase in value. Given [Milosevic's] evidence as to the significance of the Cobra for him and given that the vehicle is uncommon, I do not consider the storage costs alone would justify a sale."

More than 50 people were arrested in Operation Notus after the six-month covert investigation into alleged methamphetamine supply in Kawerau and other towns in the eastern Bay of Plenty.