P-labs bust bags $600,000 worth of methamphetamine
Christchurch police believe they have just taken around $600,000 worth of methamphetamine
(P) off the streets - by shutting down three P-labs.
They say their early morning raids targeted the ring leaders of an elaborate and coordinated operation, who have become very rich from the manufacture and sale of the drug
After the early morning raids, armed police patrolled the properties where the P-labs were found - watching for the return of residents as volatile as the chemicals they cook.
Detective inspector Greg Williams, of the Christchurch police, says gang links to P are becoming more prevalent.
We've seen an indication to links to organised gangs here through the Harris Gang, links to the Mongrel Mob, that's not unusual unfortunately in these cases now, he says.
Over 160 officers raided 15 properties. They found three clandestine P-labs, a firearm, chemicals and $30,000 in cash.
Electronic surveillance was used to find the offenders.
We believe this is the largest commercial operation that we've seen, says Mr Williams.
In May, police shut down an elaborate P-lab and recovered over $300,000 worth of P hidden in the property.
Today's labs were found at a property once linked to the Harris Gang and another near the port in Lyttleton.
The third is in an apartment within sight of the Christchurch Central Police Station.
Police Minister Judith Collins visited the station this afternoon.
It goes to show how mobile it is and how easily it is to be set up, she says.
So far 11 people have been charged, but police say more arrests will follow.
WED, 09 JUN 2010