18 Nov 2009

24 seized in major drug bust

9:16 pm on 18 November 2009

Twenty-four people have been arrested after a major drugs operation in the Taupo area.

The police say 18 search warrants were executed over the past two days in Taupo, Tokoroa and Putaruru, following a month-long investigation.

The investigation, code-named Operation MacBeth, targeted the sale and supply of methamphetamine, Ecstasy and cannabis.

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Kevan Verry of the Taupo CIB says that guns and stolen property as well as drugs were found at houses searched during the operation.

At one house in Putaruru, he says, they found an underground bunker filled with cannabis plants, plus two shotguns and 7,000 rounds of ammunition.

Also involved in the search were bailiffs from local fines collection units, who seized thousands of dollars' worth of items to settle unpaid fines.

Those arrested face a total of 136 charges, including drugs, firearms and burglary charges.