Police hope they have dealt a heavy blow to the P industry nationwide after their biggest ever commercial drugs bust in Christchurch.
A six-month investigation culminated in raids across Canterbury, shutting down three large P labs and netting massive quantities of the drug.
About 200 police were involved in the busts, in which 11 people were arrested.
At 6am today, police raided a number of properties in Christchurch and executed search warrants in Ashburton and Rangiora.
Three labs were located at three separate addresses and cash, a firearm and chemicals related to the manufacture of methamphetamine were found.
One of the drug labs was located in an inner-city townhouse just metres away from the Christchurch police headquarters.
Police say the Armed Offenders Squad was used due to the dangerous nature of the raids and road closures affected peak hour Christchurch traffic.
Meanwhile, some people reported being evacuated from homes and businesses.
This is the largest commercial operation that we've seen - so we think it's significant and will have an impact into the supply of methamphetamine into the Canterbury area, says Detective Inspector Greg Williams.
Police believe the labs are part of one big operation. Up to $600,000 worth of drugs were hauled in and police say some of the 11 arrested have strong gang connections.
We've seen an indication to links to organised gangs here...through the Harris gang, links to the Mongrel Mob...unfortunately that's not unusual in these cases, says Williams.
Police Minister Judith Collins is meeting with staff involved in the raids.
And more arrests are in the pipeline as police finish examining and decontaminating the labs they have put out of business.
Wednesday June 09, 2010