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Its gold, silver and 'bomb' in combined drug operation

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"Its gold, silver and 'bomb' in combined Hamilton drug operation"

Waikato Police investigating an illicit drug importation operation with the NZ Customs Service said a second man has been arrested and large amounts of drugs, gold and cash were amongst items seized.

District Crime Services Coordinator, Detective Senior Sergeant Nigel Keall, said Police and members of the New Zealand Customs Service searched three properties in Hamilton yesterday.

"The searches were in relation to the importation of controlled drugs and associated paraphernalia but the search of one property was interrupted when searchers located an improvised explosive device (IED).

"Members of an Auckland based Defence Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)
team were called in to render the item safe and the Morrinsville Rd property
was able to be re-entered about 6pm."

Mr Keall said once the search of the rural property resumed officers located 3600 LSD tabs conservatively valued at around $144,000 and 100 Ecstasy tabs with an estimated value of $40 each.

"The EOD team also advised us another IED was located in the building while a sawn-off shotgun, four Military Style Semiautomatic (MSSA) rifles and loaded .22 and .204 calibre rifles were found as well.

"About $4000 in cash and $86,000 worth of gold and silver bullion was also recovered by the search teams at the same address and a second man from a third property searched by the combined teams was arrested during yesterday's operation."

Mr Keall said as a result of yesterday's searches a 25-year-old man faced 23 charges and a 27-year-old man faced eight charges in the Hamilton District Court today.

The charges include importing and possession of the Class A controlled drug LSD and the Class B controlled drug Ecstasy, possession of Cannabis seeds,
importing precursors, possession of equipment, producing Cannabis Oil and unlawful possession of MSSA's, explosives and a pistol.

"Yesterday's success is testament to the value of an inter-agency, whole of Government approach to serious crime and highlights the risks associated to both the public and Police in relation to drug offenders increasingly being found in possession of high-powered weaponry and, in this case, explosives."


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