Over $500m in cash, assets seized from gangs, criminals since 2017

Police have seized $500 million in cash and assets from gangs and criminals over the past four years, Police Minister Poto Williams announced today.

A box containing a large amount of cash is discovered during a police raid as part of Operation Trojan Shield. Source: Supplied

Williams said in a statement that the target had been set for this year with police "as part of our crackdown on gangs and crime".

“Gangs should not be making money from exploiting our communities. This Government is very clear – we will not tolerate organised crime and gangs and we are working hard to disrupt them," Williams said.

“Actions like this will go a long way to making New Zealanders safer by making a significant dent in the illicit economy – which causes so much harm in our communities.

"For every $1 seized, $3.30 of crime is disrupted, and for every $1 forfeited, $3.50 of crime is disrupted, meaning that in the last four years alone, we have removed approximately $1.6 billion from the illicit economy."

It follows the Government's announcement that it would amend the Proceeds of Crime legislation to ensure those involved in organised crime "would have to demonstrate their assets were obtained through legitimate means or lose them", Williams said.

Police last week achieved their highest-ever forfeiture after the High Court approved a settlement enabling the forfeiture of over $70 million in assets.

The announcement came as police revealed an 11-month investigation into an organised crime group in Auckland had netted a haul of various drugs yesterday after 16 search warrants were carried out. 

Police seized 44 kilograms of methamphetamine, 26kgs of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, five kgs of ketamine and three kgs of MDMA.

Cash, property and vehicles were also seized.