A significant Police operation has resulted in the seizure of more than 50 kilograms of cocaine, nine individuals arrested, and $300,000 in cash, cocaine, and cryptocurrency wallets seized, Police Minister Poto Williams says.
“This major crackdown on class A drugs and money laundering has today made our streets safer,” Poto Williams said.
“This Government has made it very clear – we will not tolerate gangs and organised crime. We have put a record number of Police on the frontline with a specific focus on organised crime. This Government’s record investment in Police will include 700 additional organised crime investigators.
“New Zealanders have the right to feel safe in their homes and their communities. This crackdown will go a long way to making New Zealanders safer by tackling the sale and supply of illicit drugs and serious money laundering activities that cause so much harm in our communities.
“Operation Mist has seen 70 New Zealand Police and New Zealand Customs staff supported by Police and Customs international liaison networks, working with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Colombian National Police, the Spanish Customs Service, and the Cook Island Customs Service. The Operation is testament to the hard work of Police officers and the relationships they have built with their international colleagues.
“This Government recognises the harm caused by gangs and organised crime in our communities and that is why we’ve undertaken significant cross-government work to respond to local, national, and transnational organised crime.
“This includes the Transnational Organised Crime (TNOC) Strategy and the Resilience to Organised Crime in Communities (ROCC) programme. The TNOC Strategy focuses primarily on the supply and international context of organised crime, while ROCC is focused on addressing social drivers of gang membership and reducing demand for illicit drugs. Together, they form a comprehensive approach to address the full spectrum of organised crime,” Poto Williams said.