Another arrest in week-long crackdown on NZ gangs, organised crime

A twelfth person has been arrested in ongoing efforts by Southland Police to disrupt criminal groups in the Southern District.

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The operation is targeting organised crime in the region, police said. Source: 1 NEWS

Last week, 11 people were arrested after eight search warrants were executed in Queenstown, Invercargill and Gore over 10 days, targeting organised criminal networks and serious offending. Police said the 11 arrested included gang members and associates.

Early this morning, three more search warrants were executed in Invercargill and Gore, with the assistance of the Armed Offenders Squad and Specialist Search Team members, said Inspector Mike Bowman, acting area commander for the district.

A 19-year-old man will appear in the Invercargill District Court today on a warrant to arrest, and inquiries are continuing in relation to the three search warrants, Mr Bowman said.

"This follows on from the arrests last week and continues our focus on holding accountable local criminal groups and wanted individuals," he said.

Mr Bowman said the continued efforts by local police should send a clear message to offenders "that we don't tolerate criminal activity in the Southern District".

"These warrants have been part of our continued efforts to reduce crime and harm in our communities," he said.

"It's pleasing to have been able to make a dent in local organised crime groups and make offenders accountable for their criminal activities, not only through the criminal justice process but also look at rehabilitation opportunities as well."

The group arrested last week faces charges relating to firearms, Class A and B drugs, and dishonesty.

Six firearms, a large amount of ammunition, methamphetamine, cannabis and synthetic drugs were seized, along with cash and stolen property in the raids last week.

Last Thursday, North Island police also raided 10 properties across Auckland targeting the Comanchero gang and its associates. 

Six people were arrested and about $4 million worth of assets seized. A New Zealand national in Sydney was arrested on Friday, and a woman and man were arrested in Auckland yesterday as part of the same operation.

Those arrested during that operation face charges including money laundering, participating in an organised criminal group and conspiracy to import Class A and B drugs.