$17 million of meth seized in Bandidos bust

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Around 17 kilograms of methamphetamine, with a street value of $17 million, has been seized following a joint investigation by Counties Manukau Police and Customs.

Operation Cossack was a seven-month joint operation into the alleged importing of methamphetamine by a member of the Thailand Chapter of the Bandidos Motor Cycle Gang.
Along with the drugs, approximately $150,000 of recently purchased jewellery and $200,000 cash were also recovered.

Three people have now been arrested and charged with importing methamphetamine, supplying methamphetamine and money laundering.

Detective Senior Sergeant Albie Alexander of the Counties Manukau Organised Crime Unit says the drugs recovered were destined for the New Zealand market.

“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. Methamphetamine is a significant driver of crime in New Zealand. It ruins lives, destroys families and does enormous damage to our communities,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Alexander.

Customs Investigations manager, Maurice O’Brien, says “The co-operation between the Counties Manukau OCU and Customs has provided an efficient and layered enforcement service for our communities against this insidious drug, and this is a great result.”

Venkant Raman, who is a member of the Counties Manukau South Asian Advisory Board says it is heartening that our police in association with Customs were able to successfully complete Operation Cossack. 

“Their vigilance, planning, and meticulous investigation has led to the arrest of those allegedly involved in illegal trading of drugs, money laundering and other social evils. 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.” Says Mr Raman.

Three men aged 54, 31 and 28 have appeared in the Manukau District Court and will next appear in October.

Police cannot rule out the possibility of further charges as our investigation continues.

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Shelley Nahr
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