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Police restrain $1.2m worth of property following operation

Police have restrained more than $1.2 million worth of property following an earlier operation targeting the manufacture and supply of methamphetamine in Northland.

In July this year Police arrested nine people in a four-day Police operation dubbed Operation Nortiate, an investigation into a large-scale drug syndicate.

As part of the operation, more than 150 staff executed search warrants at nine properties throughout the Northland region, including in Wheki Valley, Hukerenui, Helena Bay, Raumanga and Puwera.

This month two of those properties in Wheki Valley were restrained by orders issued by the Whangarei High Court.

The properties, where a number of firearms and drugs were located, have been restrained pursuant to the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009.

It's the result of an ongoing financial investigation alongside the Northern Asset Recovery Unit.

These properties were valued collectively at $1.2 million.

The properties are in addition to around $60,000 worth of stolen property recovered in July, along with drugs such heroin, cannabis and methamphetamine.

Police at the time also recovered two tasers and seven firearms, including a 357 Magnum Pistol, a shotgun, as well as two semi-automatic rifles.

Police also have a High Court order to seize a Dodge Hellcat muscle car with the registration KAA30.

This has not yet been located and Police are appealing to the public to help locate it.

The car is also to be forfeited to the Crown under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009.

Anyone with information as to its whereabouts is urged to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or 105.

Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston from Northland CIB says restraining the property sends a clear message that Police are committed to removing the profit from unlawful activity.

“The people who benefit from crime feed off the misery of others and take advantage of vulnerable people in our community.

It causes immeasurable harm and entire families suffer,” he says.

“By removing the assets they accumulate, we’re showing that there is nothing to be gained from choosing such a path and that they will be caught and held to account.”

Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston says anyone who has information relating to proceeds of crime should contact Police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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