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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

Attributable to Waikato District Criminal Investigations Manager, Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley

Yesterday, the Waikato Police Organised Crime team, alongside Asset Recovery Unit staff, arrested and charged eight people in relation to organised criminal activity and the distribution of drugs throughout the mid North Island.

Operation Mikado was a four-month long operation investigating the large-scale distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy, MDMA and cannabis.

A number of search warrants were carried out in Palmerston North, Hamilton and Ngaruawahia, over the last fortnight.

Eight men, aged 20, 25(2), 28, 31, 32, 47 and 50, have been arrested so far and are facing a variety of charges which include participating in an organised criminal group, unlawful possession of firearms and drug-related supply and possession charges.

Firearms, cash, drugs, stolen property and motor vehicles were seized during the search warrants.

Waikato District Criminal Investigations Manager, Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley says that these arrests are pleasing, and Police remain committed to disrupting the supply and distribution of harmful drugs in our communities.

“Unfortunately, during the investigation and subsequent search warrants we became aware that there were a number of children who have been exposed to drug dealing and illegal firearms.

“This is extremely concerning, particularly because it puts them in a vulnerable position and could negatively influence their behaviour.

“By targeting organised crime groups, it is possible to disrupt the supply chain and prevent illicit drugs affecting our community.

“Drug use destroys the lives of users, as well as harming the friends, family and community around them.

“’Police want to help those affected by drugs to get away from the downward cycle of addiction, they should not be afraid to approach Police or other social agencies for help.”

Police continue to see organised criminal groups taking advantage of the addictiveness of drugs, especially methamphetamine, to profit from it. Drug users become victims of these profit-motivated, organised criminals who do not care about the harm they inflict on users and their families.

If you suspect drug activity in your neighbourhood or are concerned someone you know is involved with drugs, please contact Police.

Information can also be shared anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.


Issued by Police Media Centre