Half a dozen people arrested in Auckland as part of an international crackdown on organised crime have pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges in front of a packed public gallery.
An FBI-developed encrypted messaging app, ANOM, used by criminal syndicates to communicate led to a string of raids across 16 countries resulting in hundreds of arrests, dubbed Operation Trojan Shield.
New Zealand police carried out raids across the North Island, resulting in 35 arrests, including senior members of the Comancheros, Mongrel Mob and Head Hunters gangs. More than 900 charges have been laid.
Large amounts of cash, drugs and luxury assets such as cars and boats were seized.
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Today around a dozen are due to appear in Auckland District Court for a second time, to enter pleas.
They face a multitude of charges including supply and possession of methamphetamine, cocaine and Ecstasy, money laundering and participating in an organised crime group.
One man has pleaded not guilty to 41 charges relating to supply of methamphetamine, possession of Ecstasy and money laundering. He has been remanded in custody until September and his interim name suppression continues.
A 44-year-old North Auckland man has entered not guilty pleas on drug-related and organised crime charges, and elected a trial by jury. His lawyer sought for his name suppression to continue until a name suppression hearing. He stood quietly in the dock.
Five others also pleaded not guilty and had their interim name suppression continued.
Newly appointed Queen's Counsel and high-profile defence lawyer Ron Mansfield is representing three of the accused.