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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Statement to be attributed to Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley:

Operation Typhoon, a three-month-long operation targeting organised crime in the Waikato, has seen significant results and is expected to impact the accessibility of methamphetamine in the district.

Disrupting and reducing the quantity of methamphetamine available across the Waikato can only have a positive affect for our more vulnerable community members.

Forty search warrants saw the arrests of more than 100 people with organised crime connections and the seizure of over a kilogram of methamphetamine and 30 illegally held firearms.

The Operation Typhoon investigation team and the Police Asset Recovery Unit restrained over $350,000 in cash, high value motor vehicles and motorcycles.

Importantly, and as previously reported in September,  we identified and dismantled four commercial scale methamphetamine labs and seized commercial quantities of materials and precursor chemicals destined to be used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. A fifth methamphetamine lab was located today at a rural property near Raglan.

These manufacturers and their network of dealers and suppliers prey on the most vulnerable people in our community and use violence, threats, and intimidation to push drugs for their own financial benefit.

Operation Typhoon also highlighted the significant working relationship between members of a variety of different gangs and chapters. This included Waikato Mongrel Mob and Mongrel Mob Rogue chapter members and associates working together in relation to three of the methamphetamine labs. As a result they face a number of serious charges including participating in an organised criminal group, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of precursor chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine, supplying methamphetamine and unlawful possession of firearms.

Those charged in relation to Operation Typhoon have made initial appearances in the Hamilton District Court.

Anyone with information about drug offending, suspicious financial activities or the identification and location of proceeds of crime is urged to contact Police by phoning 105, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

We encourage anyone affected by drug addiction to seek help through the Alcohol and Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, or free text 8681.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

MIL OSI