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Gangsters arriving from Australia adding to escalating violence linked with meth dealing, top cop says


New gang members arriving on Kiwi shores from Australia are contributing to the escalating violence coming out of the illegal methamphetamine trade in New Zealand, a top cop says.

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Detective Superintendent Greg Williams says an increase in gang violence is partly due to the changing landscape of the illegal methamphetamine trade. Source: Breakfast

"The Australian deportees and New Zealanders coming back have really changed the landscape," Organised Crime Unit's Detective Superintendent Greg Williams told TVNZ1's Breakfast today.

"Probably since 2011 and 2012 we've seen first the Rebels and Bandidos arrive.  In recent times the Comancheros have set up here.  Of course a lot of those members are New Zealanders or people deported from Australia who are New Zealander's.

"The original Comanchero gang, the original nine were all deportees so they're certainly changing the landscape here," he says.

Mr Williams says $600 million in revenue is generated by organised crime each year in New Zealand.

"In Auckland that's about 8kgs of meth a week, so we are seeing that generate about $4 million just from meth alone."

He said between 13kgs and 16kgs of meth a week is being consumed throughout New Zealand.

Mr Williams says he thinks the increase in gang violence is due to gangs protecting and increasing their share of the market.

"The gangs are certainly trying to command a component of the market."

He said there has also been a growth in gang members.

"We've seen a real growth in recent years and part of it is the way the gangs market themselves. You'll see them on social media with all the bling, with fancy cars and amazing motorbikes.  They're really trying to attract the youth into the gangs.

"They need that man power because then that gives them more of an ability to be able to sell methanphetamine."