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Police operation nabs organised crime group

District-wide Police operation nabs organised crime group, 8 arrested.

Police have arrested a gang of young men, alleged to have been operating as an organised crime group throughout the Wellington district.

Eight men face charges including participating in an organised crime group, burglary, receiving stolen goods, theft of motor vehicles, possession and cultivation of a Class B controlled drug (cannabis) and offering to supply it.

Lower Hutt Police Area Commander Inspector Richard Chambers says this follows the execution of 13 early morning search warrants over the past 24 hours in Naenae, Moera, Petone, Wainuiomata, Makara, Khandallah, Wilton, Tawa, Titahi Bay and Plimmerton.

"There's been very few times where Police have arrested and charged people under Section 98A of the Crimes Act, where there is evidence that three or more people are operating an organised group, like a gang, for the specific purpose of criminal gain."

"We believe these eight people we have arrested have links to illegal street racing groups within the Wellington district and have been using stand over tactics, intimidation and violence towards these groups. We have gathered strong evidence over the past few weeks resulting in a very successful termination yesterday."

Property seized includes approximately 300 shotgun rounds, four stolen vehicles and a motorcycle, flat screen televisions, laptops and other household electrical items.

Inspector Chambers says identifying this group of offenders is a significant step forward for Police throughout the District.

Police believe that the arrested group has links to some serious violence incidents which have occurred over the past few months, including a firearms incident in Waiwhetu in August. Further charges and arrests are likely as investigations continue over the coming weeks. The majority of those arrested over the past 24 hours have been remanded in custody.

Inspector Chambers says, "This operation demonstrates the way in which Police are able to gather intelligence across the District and work together to crack down on organised crime groups like this. This should send a clear signal to those involved that Police and the community will not tolerate this type of offending."

More than 60 Police staff from across the Hutt Valley, Wellington and Kapiti-Mana areas, including Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) members, have been involved in the operation.


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