Queenstown Covert Drug Operation Results in Arrests

By Terrapinzflyer · Sep 30, 2009 · ·
  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Queenstown Covert Drug Operation Results in Arrests

    this is a press release from a NZ Govt website- so no link provided here

    30 September, 2009 - 15:30

    Police today arrested seven people on a variety of drug-related charges including importing, selling and supplying, producing Class B controlled drugs, selling Class A controlled drugs, and offences in relation to Class C controlled drugs (cannabis) and utensils for consuming cannabis.

    The drugs involved are MDMA (Ectasy) (class B) and LSD (Class A).

    The arrests are the result of a six-month operation dubbed Operation Wing targeting people with international connections involved in drug dealing in Queenstown, Dunedin and Oamaru.

    Police seized a small quantity of methamphetamine after executing eight search warrants primarily in the Queenstown area but also in Dunedin, Oamaru and Christchurch.

    Those arrested will appear in court over the coming weeks on a variety of related charges. The charges include: importing, producing, selling and supplying Class B controlled drugs, selling Class A controlled drugs, and offences in relation to Class C controlled drugs (cannabis) and utensils for consuming the same.

    Police allege the value of the drugs being imported and sold in the community had a street value of several hundred thousand dollars.

    Some 39 police and customs staff, as well as the Christchurch-based Police Specialist Search Group and drug dogs, were involved in the operation's termination phase today.

    Some of those arrested have connections with an international organised crime syndicate and local police are liaising via Interpol with the Royal Mounted Police in Canada and the Australian Police, Otago Rural CIB Officer in Charge, Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Blackie said.

    In praising the efforts of Queenstown Police staff, Detective Snr Sgt Blackie said police in collaboration with other agencies were continuing to keep up the pressure on drugs and organised crime in the area.

    Otago Rural Police Area Commander, Inspector Mike Cook, said the arrests should send reverberations through the illicit drug community.

    "I urge anyone with information about these sorts of activities to contact police. Those involved can expect to receive a visit from us soon," he said.

    Given that a number of alleged offenders are now facing charges before the courts, police would not be making any further comment about the operation, Det Snr Sgt Blackie said.

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    International drug ring busted in Queenstown

    Police raids in Otago and Canterbury have uncovered a sophisticated international drug syndicate.

    Queenstown police recruited the help of Australian and Canadian police after the syndicate was exposed during eight raids on Wednesday.

    Seven people were arrested for allegedly importing hundreds of thousands of dollars of ecstasy or LSD from Vancouver, Canada.

    Detective Sergeant Grahme Bartlett says the "principals" running the syndicate were two New Zealanders living in Queenstown.

    "While Queenstown is portrayed as a party town ... we were surprised at the level of drugs being imported," he told The Southland Times.

    He says the drugs were being imported from Vancouver via Bali and Sydney.

    "The Canadian authorities were quite astounded by the methods being used."

    Four people were arrested in Queenstown, one in Oamaru and two in Dunedin.

    A British man, who lives in Australia, was also arrested in Queenstown.

    The arrested people will appear in Invercargill District Court.

    Published: 8:36AM Thursday October 01, 2009
    Source: NZPA

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