18 May 2013

Drug-ring suspect still employed by police

9:17 pm on 18 May 2013

A police officer in custody on charges of supplying and manufacturing methamphetamine is still employed by the police.

Henderson Constable Peter Pakau appeared in Waitakere District Court on Friday on 27 charges, including supplying and manufacturing methamphetamine (P) and illegally using information from the police computer system.

He was arrested with eight other men and women, including his wife. She is charged with fencing stolen property.

Police say he was part of a ring distributing P around the Auckland region and that he used the police computer to pass on information to gang members and his criminal associates.

Detective Inspector Bruce Scott said he is technically still employed by the police. However, an internal employment investigation is underway.

The accused officer is still on the payroll but a spokeswoman said a process is underway to have him suspended without pay.

Detective Inspector Scott told Checkpoint on Friday the charges are bitterly disappointing, but show the police are vigorous when it comes to investigating their own and weeding out corruption.

The Corrections Department would not comment on whether the officer is segregated from other inmates.

No link to earlier arrests

Police say there is no link between the arrest of Mr Pakau and the convictions of two police staff earlier this year.

Earlier this month an Auckland police prosecutor, Timothy Sarah, was jailed for four years after being found guilty of supplying methamphetamine and illegally accessing the police computer system.

In January, Auckland police officer Darren Hodgetts was sentenced to community detention for his role in the same drug ring.

However, a police spokesperson says there is no connection between that drug ring and Mr Pakau.