5 Oct 2016

Auckland drug sting nets $17 million worth of meth

11:21 am on 5 October 2016

A police operation in South Auckland has netted $17 million worth of the illegal drug methampetamine.

The sting by police and Customs staff lasted seven months, and focused on the alleged importing of meth by a member of the Thailand chapter of the Bandidos Motor Cycle Gang.

17kg of methamphetamine was seized during Operation Cossack by Counties Manukau Police.

Police seized 17 kilograms of methamphetamine, along with jewellery and cash. Photo: Supplied / Police

Along with 17kg of the drugs, police also recovered approximately $150,000 of recently purchased jewellery and $200,000 in cash.

Three men aged 54, 31 and 28 have been arrested and charged with importing methamphetamine, supplying methamphetamine and money laundering.

The men have already appeared in Manukau district court and will next appear later this month.

Police said they could not rule out the possibility of further charges as the investigation continues.

Detective Senior Sergeant Albie Alexander said police were looking into the gang member's contacts.

"We'll have to see and establish whether he's got any further links in this country with any members of that organisation he's involved in, but at the moment those lines of enquiry are continuing."

The drugs recovered were destined for the New Zealand market, he said.

"The seizure of such a substantial amount sends a clear picture that police will continue to work with our partner agencies to disrupt the supply chain and reduce the harm caused by this drug."

Counties Manukau South Asian Advisory Board member Venkant Raman said he was heartened by the bust.

"The impact of drugs on our communities can be devastating, and we as a community need to all stand up and say that we will not accept it."