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Police shut down Porirua drug dealing operation

Police shut down Porirua drug dealing operation

Police from the Organised Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand (OFCANZ) together with multiple Wellington District Police teams seized $2.5 million worth of property, a shotgun and air rifles in a raid on a Porirua based drug ring this morning.

Ten search warrants were executed following a three month investigation code named Operation Hive which centred on the drug dealing activities of a group living in the suburb of Ascot Park.

During the search seven separate cannabis growing operations were discovered at different properties. Over 100 mature cannabis plants were seized.

Police also seized a substantial quantity of dried cannabis which was being prepared for sale.

The operation also recovered over 20 grams of methamphetamine and evidence indicating members of the group were importing and selling steroids. A shotgun and three air rifles were also recovered during the operation.

Detective Inspector Grant Wormald of OFCANZ said that the group had been operating in the area for some time.

“Search warrants were executed at ten separate properties including a Titahi Bay boat house," Mr Wormald said.

"Police believe a large part of the operation was co-ordinated from the boat house.

Mr Wormald said cannabis was also found growing at two properties which were rented by the group.

“It is concerning that cannabis is being grown in houses rented specifically for that purpose”, Mr Wormald said.

“Landlords need to actively manage their properties and not assume that everything is fine at the house just because the tenants pay the rent on time”.

In addition to the drugs which were seized this morning six properties with a total value of $2.5 million have been restrained under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009.

The investigation has included staff from the Wellington District Covert Operations Group, the Porirua Criminal Investigations Branch and the New Zealand Customs Service. They have worked with OFCANZ to gather evidence of the alleged offending.

“Investigations such as this take a long time and require many groups within law enforcement to work together," Mr Wormald said.

"Today's search warrants are the culmination of all that good work over a significant period of time.”

Following this mornings operation nine people will appear in the Wellington District Court later today charged with drug dealing offences.


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