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Massive $123m drug bust uncovers most 'sophisticated' operation ever

Police have seized $123 million worth of methamphetamine after infiltrating organised crime groups in a massive crack down on New Zealand's drug trade.

The huge joint Auckland operations with Customs uncovered a level of sophistication and technique that authorities "have not seen in New Zealand before", Detective Inspector Bruce Good said.

"During both Operation Wand and Operation Sorrento we shut down organised criminal groups who had gone to great lengths to avoid detection," he said.

Following the drug sweeps nine people were arrested and charged with a combination of methamphetamine related charges including importing, supply and possession. A total of 123kg of P was seized.

Seven of those charged are Chinese or Hong Kong nationals while the remaining two are New Zealand citizens.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the successful operations underline the determination to target the meth trade and the groups running it.

"Methamphetamine is a significant driver of crime that does enormous damage to our communities," he said.

In late March detectives and Customs investigators executed a number of search warrants across the Auckland region.

Mr Good said 83kg of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of up to $83 million was seized during Operation Wand.

"This included the discovery of $20 million worth of methamphetamine at a clan lab in Pakuranga," he added.

Police and Customs also enjoyed similar success during Operation Sorrento in late March.

An additional $40 million of methamphetamine was discovered across Auckland. Mr Good said police are not aware of any links between the two drug groups.

Methamphetamine in plastic bag Source: Supplied


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