Dozens of people charged as part of a major trans-national police operation targeting organised crime have appeared at the Auckland and Hamilton district courts this afternoon.
In Auckland, a Henderson man, 39, was charged with possessing methamphetamine for supply, six counts of money laundering and supplying cannabis when he appeared in the dock at 12.45pm.
Police allege he engaged in laundering more than $1.4 million.
The man, who appeared to be out of breath, nodded when Judge Brooke Gibson told him he had interim name suppression until June 29.
He was remanded without plea on bail until June 29.
A 43-year-old Otara man, charged with supplying methamphetamine, was granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody.
Several of those arrested as part of Operation Trojan Shield face charges of participating in an organised crime group.
One of them was a 46-year-old Auckland man who was also granted interim name suppression and remanded on bail until June 29.
He waved from the dock at his supporters in the public gallery before being led back into the cells.
A 65-year-old man from Avondale appeared in the dock shortly before 1pm, charged with supplying meth and money laundering.
He was remanded without plea on bail. Like his co-accused, he will reappear in court on June 29.
A man who faces a string of money laundering charges in relation to Operation Trojan Shield, including being involved in a transaction of $100,000, has been remanded on bail without plea and will appear later this month.
A total of six men and one woman - aged between 29 and 65 - appeared in Auckland District Court today facing multiple charges each in relation to Operation Trojan Shield, including supply of methamphetamine, cannabis, conspiring to import cocaine and money laundering.
Each were granted interim name suppression and remanded without plea until their next appearance later this month.
Some family members were seen in the public gallery.
Other accused men are appearing via audio visual link from Rotorua tomorrow.
Packed courtroom in Hamilton
In Hamilton, it was standing room only at 3pm as 16 people charged in connection with Operation Trojan Shield appeared in court.
One man, regarded by the crown as the main ringleader, faces 164 charges including supplying P, cocaine and MDMA. He was granted interim name suppression by Judge Josephine Bouchier and remanded in custody without plea to reappear on June 23.
Another Hamilton accused, aged 32, faces 120 charges. He was also granted interim name suppression and remanded in custod to reappear on the same date.
A 31-year-old Hamilton man was the only person to enter pleas - not guilty - to his many charges, which include money laundering, possession and supply of methamphetamine and cannabis and supplying MDMA. He was remanded in custody to reappear on Monday for bail.
A 30-year-old man, also of Hamilton, faces more than charges including importing 2.27kg of P, conspiring to supply P, possession of 500gm of cocaine for supply and supplying 1kg of P. He was also granted name suppression.
The other 12 accused have staggered reappearances, some as soon as tomorrow for a bail application, others will reappear as late as June 29.
Operation Trojan Shield
Operation Trojan Shield targeted the importation, sale and supply of methamphetamine, as well as money-laundering activities, in New Zealand and abroad.
Thirty-five people were arrested after search warrants were executed across New Zealand yesterday and $3.7 million in assets were seized - including cannabis, methamphetamine, iodine, firearms, vehicles, more than $1 million in cash and a number of mobile phones.
Senior members of the Comancheros in Waikato, Mongrel Mob in Waikato and the Head Hunters were among those arrested overnight.
More than 900 charges have been laid. There were still outstanding arrests to be made, National Organised Crime Group director Detective Superintendent Greg Williams said at a press conference this morning.