Four arrested for importing Class C drugs, and $1million assets seized
Three men and one woman aged between 24-26 years have been arrested and face charges relating to the importation and supply of class C drugs, and have had in excess of $1 million in assets seized, following a joint Police and Customs operation.
The investigation, codenamed Operation Gemini, commenced in November after Customs intercepted multiple imports of the drug Alpha PVP in excess of three kilograms sent from China.
Detective Senior Sergeant Brent Murray says Alpha PVP is one of the emerging drug threats which is usually sold in capsule form for around $40 and is snorted.
“Police have received reports of significant adverse effects resulting from Alpha PVP use,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Murray.
Alpha-PVP is a stimulant type drug that can produce many of the same psychoactive effects as Methamphetamine and Ecstasy. In New Zealand, it is commonly referred to as "Niff” or "Bath salts".
Customs Investigations Manager, Maurice O’Brien says Police and Customs will continue to target those who import and distribute drugs and hold them to account for their offending.
“This is another great example of multi-agency co-operation in the fight to protect our society against harmful drugs being brought into our country. It should also be a deterrent to anyone thinking of trying to import any illegal substances,” says Mr O’Brien.
The investigation focussed on a group of three males believed to be importing and distributing the drug within the Wellington area.
In March 2015, search warrants were executed at several addresses around the Wellington district resulting in Police’s Central Asset Recovery Unit restraining assets with an estimated value of just over $1 million.
The assets include, two residential properties, three motor vehicles, a Harley Davidson motorbike, two boats, a jet ski, three trailers, the contents of a bank account, and $107,000.00 worth of bonus bonds.
“The financial investigation is continuing to establish the extent of the benefits obtained through this criminal activity,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Brent Murray from the Central Asset Recovery Unit.
“This has been a very successful investigation, which is ongoing, and at this stage inquiries would indicate significant income has been generated from the importation and sale of this drug.”
“Alpha PVP is known to cause significant harm within communities and there are several examples internationally of irrational and aggressive behaviour with at times fatal consequences.”
“Removing this drug from the community is preventing further serious harm and saving families the anguish and heartache experienced overseas.”
“Seizing assets from criminals is a reminder to offenders that crime doesn’t pay.”
Investigations are continuing and it is likely further charges will result.
If you have any information about drug cultivation, manufacture or supply rings please contact your local Police Station. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.