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Three arrests in methamphetamine scam

Three arrests in methamphetamine scam

Three people who had attempted to arrange the sale of several hundred kilograms of methamphetamine that were alleged to be stockpiled in Tonga have been arrested today by the Auckland Police Drug Squad.

Detective Inspector Bruce Good said that the arrests are the result of an investigation which began in early July involving a 34 year old Tongan man who had arrived in New Zealand with an associate after travelling to Tonga to sample the drugs.

“This action confirmed that the methamphetamine was genuine and arrangements were then put in place to bring the stockpile to New Zealand for distribution,” Detective Inspector Good said.

Extensive inquiries were made both in New Zealand and in Tonga. In a joint investigation with the Tongan Police, two search warrants were executed in Tonga on 12 August and several Tongan nationals believed to be involved in the drug syndicate were located and interviewed.

Detective Inspector Good said that police discovered from the interviews that there was in fact no methamphetamine available for exporting to New Zealand. The Tongan based members of the alleged drug syndicate were in fact attempting to 'scam' hundreds of thousands of dollars from their Tongan associate.

Detective Inspector Good said that despite the intervention of both the Tongan and New Zealand Police on 12 August, the New Zealand based offenders still continued to believe that the stockpile of methamphetamine in Tonga was genuine.

“We believe they continued to make arrangements to get the methamphetamine smuggled to New Zealand and sell it to a number of associates.”

Today drug squad detectives arrested and charged the 34 year old male Tongan national and two Auckland based men aged 37 years and 40 years respectively, on charges alleging a Conspiracy to Import the Class A controlled drug methamphetamine and Participation in an Organised Criminal Group.

The Tongan national has also been charged with an alleged Conspiracy to Kidnap. The alleged kidnap relates to a woman living in Tonga and, as with the scam for the drugs, the actual kidnap did not occur.

Those arrested will be appearing in the Auckland District Court today.

Ends

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