17 Dec 2015

11 arrested in Head Hunters raid

8:57 pm on 17 December 2015

Eleven people have appeared in Whangarei District Court after 60 police searched properties looking for methamphetamine.

The police said dawn raids in Whangarei turned up $6500 worth of gold that had been melted down.

The police said dawn raids in Whangarei turned up $6500 worth of gold that had been melted down. Photo: SUPPLIED / NZ Police

Those arrested face charges of making and supplying the drug, money laundering and organised crime.

The police said today's dawn raids in Whangarei turned up $20,000 in cash, $6500 worth of gold that had been melted down, 40 grams of methamphetamine and one kilogram of ephedrine - which they said was enough to make 68 grams of methamphetamine.

They also recovered a stolen five-tonne digger and a stolen motorbike.

The arrests were the final phase of Operation Atlas, an investigation into the Head Hunters gang and the manufacture and supply of methamphetamine in greater Northland.

"The demand for methamphetamine remains strong and this drug transcends all sectors in our society," Northland Criminal Investigations Manager Detective Inspector Kevin Burke said.

"Much of the money, obtained by offenders committing burglaries, or breaking into or stealing cars, ends up in the hands of drug dealers who supply meth."

Detectives from the Northland Organised Crime Unit were assisted by officers from the Organised Financial Crime Agency (OFCANZ), the Asset Recovery Unit, and the Specialist Search Group.

Cash seized by police during Operation Atlas.

Cash seized by police during today's operation in Whangarei. Photo: SUPPLIED / NZ Police

Meth seized by police during Operation Atlas.

Photo: SUPPLIED / NZ Police