Pubdate: Wed, 13 Apr 2016
Source: Gisborne Herald (New Zealand)
Copyright: 2016 The Gisborne Herald Co. Ltd


As Drugs, Cash, Guns, Houses, Vehicles Seized, Police Ask Community 
To Make A Stand Against 'insidious' Drug And Say They Can't Do It Alone.

POLICE were appalled during the latest big drug operation here to see 
children in homes where "P" was being dealt and the officer in charge 
of the raids says the community "must stand against this insidious drug".

In the past 10 days the operation has resulted in 41 arrests around 
Gisborne and court orders that restrain property worth $3.8 million 
owned by some of the arrested people.

"One of the major concerns encountered during the operation was the 
presence of children living at a number of the addresses targeted," 
said Detective Sergeant Kevin Ford.

"This is a serious problem - not just for police but for the 
community as a whole. The children were of various ages and had been 
living in houses where the drug was being used and dealt," he said.

The operation was the culmination of an eight-month investigation 
into the methamphetamine trade in the Gisborne area.

"As part of the operation last week, 37 properties were searched in 
the Gisborne area and one in Rotorua.

"We arrested 41 people who are collectively facing 245 charges of 
importing a class A drug, conspiracy to sell, selling, possession of 
methamphetamine for supply and cannabis dealing."

Those arrested have appeared in Gisborne and Auckland District Courts 
over the past nine days.

"Four Singapore nationals were charged after the importation of 700 
grams of methamphetamine that was allegedly destined for the Gisborne 
and East Coast market," Det Sgt Ford said.

Court orders have restrained eight properties in the Gisborne area, 
several bank accounts and vehicles.

Some 400 grams of methamphetamine were seized, worth about $400,000 
on the drug market.

Police also seized firearms, cash and cannabis.

No 'P' manufacturing labs were found during the operation.

"Those arrested included patched Black Power and Mongrel Mob members, 
and several others with strong family ties to the gangs."

Detective Sergeant Ford said the community needed to take 
responsibility for the "P" problem.

"The community needs to take responsibility for keeping our children 
safe and part of that means not exposing them to dangerous drugs and 
ensuing criminal activity."

The families of children involved in the "meth" bust have been 
referred to Child Youth and Family.

"There have been instances in the past where children have tested 
positive for methamphetamine while living in the same house as users 
and dealers," he said.

"This is an appalling situation.

"We ask the community to make a stand against this insidious drug and 
the effects it is having on their lives. Police cannot do it alone."

Anyone with information about drug-dealing should contact their 
nearest police station or information can be left anonymously on 
Crimestoppers 0800 555 111. 
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