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Drug bust: Eight Highway 61 members, associates arrested

Police arrest eight Highway 61 gang members and associates as drug bust continues

Friday, 27 June 2014 - 1:25pm

National News

Police have arrested an additional eight suspects as part of their on-going crackdown on the Wellington drug trade.

Yesterday nine search warrants were served in Wellington City and the Hutt Valley as part of phase two of the termination of Operation Fantail. 11.5 grams of methamphetamine, 1 litre of fantasy, $80,000 of cash and assets worth $100,000 were seized and restrained during Thursday’s operation.

Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Moore from the Organised Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand (OFCANZ) said Operation Fantail is the culmination of an 18 month investigation into the supply of methamphetamine and fantasy in the lower North Island.

“Our terminations have shown that members of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs are facilitating and financing large parts of the illegal drug market in Wellington, the Wairarapa, Manawatü and the Hawkes Bay,” Mr Moore said.

Last week a Tribesman gang member, a Highway 61 associate and a Mongrel Mob associate were arrested during the initial phase of the termination.

Mr Moore said the termination of Operation Fantail shows that rival gang members are actively co-operating in the sale and supply of methamphetamine and fantasy.

“In total during Operation Fantail we have now recovered 200 grams of methamphetamine, (with an estimated street value of up to $200,000), 2000 millilitres of GBH (street value $20,000) and $200,000 in cash.”

Assets worth $160,000 including several sports cars and a Harley Davidson motorcycle, have also been restrained.

“Police have identified that the seizure and forfeiture of assets is a strong deterrent to these groups and reduces the ability of people to offend in the future,” Mr Moore said.

A Police ‘cash dog’ was used during the termination of Operation Fantail. The ‘cash dogs’ are trained to detect large amounts of currency and are partially funded through the sale of assets forfeited to the crown.

The eight suspects arrested yesterday are all members or associates of the Highway 61 Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. They will appear in the Wellington District Courts in the next week.


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