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Possible Gang Links To Raids - Mark

15 October 2007

Possible Gang Links To Raids - Mark

The unearthing of suspected terrorist groups in New Zealand is a disturbing and frightening evolution in the history of our criminal gangs, says New Zealand First law and order spokesman Ron Mark.

Mr Mark’s comments follow a series of raids on Maori separatist, environmentalist and so-called ‘peace’ groups by Police under both the Terrorism Suppression Act and Firearms Act. Police reportedly found arsenals of restricted weapons and Al-Qaeda-style bush training camps in today’s raids, the climax of a major surveillance operation.

“Police must be congratulated for their actions in heading off what appears to be a major threat to public safety,” said Mr Mark.

“I am particularly concerned however, as there is a strong smell of involvement by our established criminal gangs in today’s events. There are a number of factors that would indicate that the groups raided today will have such links.

“Gangs are well-known black-market suppliers of restricted weapons, such as those reports indicate were found in today’s raids. We know gangs were behind the recent systematic and well planned raids on private arms collectors that specifically targeted restricted weapons.

“We also know that police recently arrested a group of people who were supplying restricted weapons to unlicensed people. It is likely most of the purchasers were gangs or other criminals, who may have been linked to these groups.

“The areas raided today include places that are home to a large number of gang member and their supporters.

“It is also well known that radical activist groups since the 1980s have not been adverse to enlisting the support of criminal elements, including gangs, to advance their causes.

“If such links are proven in the fullness of time, the Government will have no choice but to follow New Zealand First’s advice and expand our anti terrorism laws to outlaw criminal organisations such as gangs once and for all,” said Mr Mark.

ENDS

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