16 Nov 2011

Police staff arrested in ecstacy raid

10:15 pm on 16 November 2011

Two police staff are among 19 people arrested in Auckland on drugs charges on Wednesday.

The non-sworn staff were arrested as part of Operation Ark - an operation targeting an ecstasy drug syndicate.

It follows a 12-month investigation into the supply and distribution of drugs.

More than 200 officers were involved in search warrants at 45 properties throughout Auckland city today.

Police say 14 appeared in court on Wednesday and a further five will appear on Thursday.

Five were given name suppression and all were given bail.

Police allege what they describe as a syndicate is responsible for the bulk of the supply and manufacturing of the drug ecstasy in New Zealand.

They say they seized about $14 million worth of assets - including residential properties, several high value vehicles, jet skis, a boat and pill presses.

The officer in charge of Operation Ark, Detective Inspector Bruce Good, says the Armed Offenders Squad assisted at two of the addresses.

He says police believe the operation involved tens of thousands of pills a week going out into the market where people pay at least $40 a pill.

"What is also of concern is that many of the pills or tablets seized comprise various mixtures of compounds, the effects of which when consumed could be fatal," he says. "Some were being manufactured on premises where rat poison was also made."

Police say they located eight pill presses at three locations - Onehunga, Highbrook and Albany - as well as several dies for the presses, kilograms of compound ready to be pressed, tens of thousands of pills and a loaded shotgun.

Warrant issued


Police are appealing for anyone who knows the whereabouts of Allen Bryan Cho, 36, of Hobson Garden Apartments, Hobson Street, Auckland.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest and police say he may attempt to obtain and use false documentation to enable him to leave the country.

Contact Detective Sergeant Lloyd Schmid on 0274 746663 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.