Source: New Zealand Police (District News)
Simultaneous search warrants were terminated across west Auckland on Thursday, targeting the manufacturing of illegal drugs.
It follows on from previous search warrants across Waitematā District at the end of September under Operation Cobalt.
In the latest phase of the investigation, Police have disrupted a drug dealing operation and, in the process, seized firearms and cash.
Two addresses were searched in Kumeū and Massey, led by Operation Cobalt staff and assisted by the Armed Offenders Squad.
Detective Inspector Aaron Proctor says three arrests were made on Thursday.
At a semi-rural property on Birdwood Road, Police located a clandestine laboratory used to manufacture methamphetamine.
“Police located a raft of illicit items at this address including approximately $375,000 worth of a precursor ingredient used to manufacture methamphetamine,” says Detective Inspector Proctor.
“Around $35,000 in cash was also seized with two loaded firearms at the property and a quantity of ammunition.”
Two shotguns, a rifle, a pistol and a restricted flick blade knife were also located.
A 38-year-old man, with links to the Headhunters, has been arrested and is facing charges for a raft of serious offences in the Waitākere District Court.
“The man is facing charges relating to manufacturing methamphetamine and possessing equipment and substances capable of manufacturing methamphetamine. He is also facing six firearms charges,” says Detective Inspector Proctor.
A second man, a 41-year-old, was also arrested as he had a warrant for his arrest. He is also facing serious drugs charges in the Waitākere District Court for an unrelated matter.
“Police were at the property throughout Thursday, with a scene guard in place overnight and we expect our enquiries will be finished later in the day.”
Meanwhile, a 37-year-old man was arrested at the Matua Road property in Kumeū after a cannabis growing operation was located. A stolen vehicle was also found at the address.
The man has been charged with cultivating cannabis and receiving stolen property. He is expected to appear in the North Shore District Court on 19 October.
“Thursday’s warrants are the latest in proactive action being taken by Operation Cobalt targeting illegal activity by gang members and their associates,” says Detective Inspector Proctor.
“There are no doubts Police have dealt a blow to this syndicate’s operation, which allegedly could have produced a decent amount of methamphetamine.
“In turn the drugs would have been distributed and caused an immeasurable amount of harm across the community.”
Police enquiries will continue, and we cannot rule out further arrests or charges being laid.
Jarred Williamson/NZ Police