Saturday, July 13, 2024

Man faces raft of charges over alleged drug import

A Wellington man is due to reappear in court next month on multiple charges of importing large quantities of a variety of controlled drugs following a joint NZ Police and NZ Customs investigation.

The operation – dubbed Operation Maserati – investigated the importation and supply of methamphetamine, cocaine, GBL, and ketamine across the Wellington region.

Detective Senior Sergeant Hamish Blackburn of the Wellington District Organised Crime Unit says the charges were filed after five search warrants were carried out at properties across Wellington District over the last week.

A firearm was also recovered from a vehicle used to transport these drugs.

The 33-year-old man arrested is remanded in custody and is due to reappear in Wellington District Court on 5 July. Police say further charges are likely.

The joint investigation commenced after Customs was alerted to several significant importations into Wellington City.

“Customs is pleased that the range of intelligence we were able to gather and analyse has alerted our Police partners to this criminal activity, and helped them break up what was a significant drug-smuggling operation,” said Chief Customs Officer: Regional Investigations, Rachel Manning.

DSS Blackburn said Police will be continuing enquiries with offshore partner agencies to identify the source that exported the drugs to New Zealand.

“Police and Customs are committed to identifying and disrupting the importation of these types of drugs which target our communities,” he said.

“We are committed to holding offenders to account, and delivering on our intent to keep New Zealanders safe.”

Information can also be reported to your local Police Station or anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

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