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Govt agencies combined effort following discovery of bomb

"Government agencies combined effort following discovery of bomb in Waikato drug search "

Waikato Police say a series of drug related searches in and around Hamilton today has highlighted the value of close working relationships between government agencies protecting New Zealand's border.

District Crime Services Coordinator, Detective Senior Sergeant Nigel Keall, said members of the Police and New Zealand Customs Service searched three properties in relation to the importation of controlled drugs and associated paraphernalia into New Zealand.

"At a commercial property on Hamilton's Kahikatea Dr, officers located some yet to be identified powder and laboratory equipment which will now be analysed by ESR and Police Clan Lab staff to assess and identify.

"Issues became a bit more complicated at a second address when searchers located a number of firearms and an improvised explosive device. As a result the search has been suspended and Police, Customs staff and the home occupants have withdrawn to await the arrival of a Defence Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team.

Mr Keall said because of the rural nature of the property there was no risk to neighbouring properties and their owners.

"As a result of our searches so far, a 25-year-old man has been arrested and will appear in the Hamilton District Court tomorrow on 18 charges related to the importation of LSD, Ecstasy and Cannabis seeds, possession of drug related equipment and the production of cannabis oil.

"Further arrests are likely and our search will resume once the suspicious device has been removed and declared safe by the Defence EOD experts.

Mr Keall said today's activities highlighted the value in the inter-operability and information sharing in practice with such agencies as Customs, Police and the Defence Force.

"Increasingly we are finding people involved in the illegal drugs trade are also in possession of firearms and, in this case, explosives.

"Offenders need to realise that not only are they likely to face a whole of Police response to offending of this nature, but as demonstrated today, a whole of Government approach.

Customs Drug Investigation Manager, Mark Day says today’s operation has been a success for the various Government agencies involved and highlights the effectiveness of this collaborative work.

People involved in this kind of activity put our communities and our people at risk,” said Mr Day.

Our joined approach has enabled Customs and Police to gain a complete picture of what we are dealing with and act accordingly to ensure no one is harmed.”

ENDS

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