Seven charged in synthetic cannabis raids

2:57 pm on 3 April 2017

Seven people have been charged after police searched homes in west Auckland this morning in an operation targeting synthetic cannabis.

Bags of synthetic cannabis were found in the roof cavity of one house, police said.

Bags of synthetic cannabis were found in the roof cavity of one house, police say. Photo: NZ Police

Searches were carried out from 6.30am at five houses on Bellgrove Place, Victor Street and Sceptre Street, all in Avondale. One of the properties was also searched last Thursday.

Armed Offenders Squad officers were used as a precaution this morning but were later stood down.

Police said they seized synthetic cannabis, cannabis, cash, a shotgun and ammunition during the searches.

Two women and four men were charged with a range of drugs offences including possession or supply of synthetic cannabis, and a man has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. Those charged ranged in age from 18 to 44 years.

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The searches took place in three Avondale streets. Photo: Google Maps

Avondale police area commander Jacqui Whittaker said the operation was the result of a long-running investigation into the sale and distribution of synthetic cannabis.

Warning about synthetic drug risks

The raids have come a fortnight after a shocking video of a young west Auckland woman in a zombie-like state and vomiting after apparently taking a synthetic drug was posted online.

A video showing the effects of bath salts has been viewed a million times on Facebook, only one day after it was uploaded.

A video showing the effects of bath salts has been viewed a million times on Facebook, only one day after it was uploaded. Photo: Facebook / Screengrab

The man who posted it, Tuakeu, said he wanted whānau to be aware of the effects of synthetic drugs, commonly called bath salts or spice.

Within 22 hours of being posted, the video was seen more than a million times and thousands of people had commented on it and shared it.

Tuakeu told Checkpoint with John Campbell he was shocked to find his sister unable to talk, groaning and vomiting, and he posted the video as a warning to others.

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