New Zealand police make huge Auckland meth bust

Image source, NZ Police
Image caption,
The drugs were seized during two separate police operations in late March

Police in Auckland, New Zealand, have seized 123kg of methamphetamine in two drug busts, breaking up two apparently unrelated gangs.

The drugs had an estimated street value of NZ$123m ($94m; £63m).

Organised crime police said the gangs had used previously unseen techniques to import and produce the drug.

Nine people were arrested under Operation Wand and Operation Sorrento, including seven people from Hong Kong and mainland China.

The raids were a joint operation between the customs authorities and police from the Organised and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand (Ofcanz).

The drugs were discovered during raids on a number of Auckland addresses in late March.

In one bust of a lab in the Pakuranga district, police found 20kg of meth which was "ready or being prepared for market".

Detective Inspector Bruce Good said this showed "the scale of the organised criminal operation we have infiltrated during Operation Wand. Unfortunately it also suggests that the market for methamphetamine remains strong in New Zealand".

He said the fact that the two groups appeared not to be connected showed that there were "a number of players involved in the importation, production and supply of methamphetamine in the Auckland region".

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said methamphetamine was "a significant driver of crime that does enormous damage to our communities".

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