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Operation Mainland - Man Charged With Murder

Man Charged With Murder

Operation Mainland release 11

31 July 2008

In a major breakthrough Waikato Police have charged one man with murder and identified a second man they believe is linked to the shooting of Matamata man, Desmond Arahanga.

Mr Arahanga died after being shot four times from a weapon fired from a moving vehicle as he stood with a group of friends on McGowan St in Waharoa, early on Sunday morning.

A blue 1994 Subaru Legacy Brighton, registration DFS845, seized by Police on Monday night is believed to be linked to the murder and a forensic analysis of the car is continuing.

Operation Mainland enquiry head, Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Nicholls, said 23-year-old Jared APIATA was charged with Mr Arahanga's murder this morning.

"He will be appearing in the Hamilton District Court in relation to this matter on 5 August," he said.

On Monday APIATA appeared in the Hamilton District Court on assault charges linked to Mr Arahanga's death.

Meanwhile Waikato investigators are searching addresses in South Auckland today looking for a second person identified as being involved in the shooting.

"A warrant to arrest has been issued for Hari Beaudean POULSON, 26, for allegedly threatening to kill another member of the group Mr Arahanga was standing with at the time of the shooting," said Mr Nicholls.

"We believe POULSON was in the vehicle at the time the shots were fired."

POULSON is considered dangerous and should not be approached.

Mr Nicholls said POULSON was only able to remain at large through the assistance of others and Police had a warning for anyone assisting him.

"This man is wanted in connection with a murder enquiry, with the issuing of this warrant we wish to make it very clear that anyone assisting him is facing very serious consequences.

"We would ask that if POULSON sees this message he contact Police and gives himself up. If people have knowledge of his whereabouts we ask they consider just how serious a situation they have got themselves into."

While Police have been able to positively link both APIATA and POULSON to the shooting they are not ruling out charging more people.

"There are certainly indications that there were other people in the car at the time of the shooting which is one aspect the enquiry team is following up," said Mr Nicholls.

The investigation team met with Mr Arahanga's family today to inform them of the laying of murder charges and the identifying of POULSON.

"These developments have only been possible due to the combination of good investigative work and the cooperation of the local Waharoa community.

"It is hoped this has gone some way in repaying that cooperation and offering reassurance to that community," said Mr Nicholls.


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