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Police operation nets 216kg of meth, cash and vehicles

Three people have been arrested and more than 200kgs of methamphetamine has been seized in the Waikato following an investigation by New Zealand Police.

Earlier this month, the National Organised Crime Group in collaboration with Western Australia Police launched Operation Ali, an investigation into a group of individuals from Australia and New Zealand.

This week Police have executed a number of search warrants in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions.

As a result, Police have seized 216kg of methamphetamine, with a street value of around $86.4 million.

Police have also seized around $100,000 in cash, a number of firearms, as well as a number of vehicles.

Three men have been arrested and face charges including possession for supply of methamphetamine.

Those men charged are a 38-year-old, a 40-year-old from New Zealand and a 47-year-old Australian national.

Two of the men appeared in the Hamilton District Court yesterday afternoon.

The 40-year-old man is due to appear in the Rotorua District Court today.

Detective Inspector Paul Newman, of the National Organised Crime Group, says authorities are seizing more methamphetamine in New Zealand than ever before.

“Since July, Police and Customs have seized more than a tonne of methamphetamine around the country.

“That overall figure is an extremely significant amount and represents well over a year’s worth of supply nationwide.

“According to wastewater analysis figures, this particular seizure as part of Operation Ali would have equated to around four months’ worth of supply nationally.”

Detective Inspector Newman says law enforcement agencies are increasingly working together across borders to disrupt organised crime groups intent on distributing illicit drugs for their own profit.

“Today’s announcement shows the strength and value of working with our close partners in law enforcement, both domestically and overseas.

“In this case, information provided by our Western Australian counterparts has assisted our investigation and yielded a substantial seizure of methamphetamine, which could have caused immeasurable harm on our communities.”

Police will be continuing enquiries following this week’s seizure.

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