High demand will keep big meth busts coming - expert

High demand will keep big meth busts coming - expert

Police in Auckland have seized $17 million worth of methamphetamine allegedly imported by a member of the Bandidos motorcycle gang's Thailand chapter.

One expert says as long as demand for P is so high, we'll continue to see multi-million dollar busts like this.

The latest haul was the result of a seven-month investigation.

Police also seized $150,000 of jewellery and $200,000 in cash and they say it's not over.

"We won't rest, we'll keep going with the information that we've received in conjunction with our partner agencies and we would hope to get results not too dissimilar to this," says detective Senior Sergeant Albie Alexander.

The Bandidos are one of the largest motorcycle gangs in the world, with an international network spanning 22 countries, including New Zealand. 

Sociologist Jarrod Gilbert says those connections are what made it such a big bust.

"Methamphetamine and the precursor chemicals to make it almost exclusively come out of Asia, so those connections are going to be useful."

Just last year in Texas, the Bandidos were involved in a vicious brawl with a rival gang in which nine people were killed.

After establishing themselves in Auckland four years ago, the Bandidos have now spread to Christchurch and the lower South Island.

But Mr Gilbert says it's uncommon for "outlaw clubs" to act as organised criminal groups.

Instead, it's often those acting alone and responding to the high demand that are the problem.

"If we were to rid the country tomorrow of the Bandidos and the like, this type of thing would still occur because the demand is still there, simple as that," he says.

Three men have appeared in the Manukau District Court charged with importing and supplying methamphetamine, and money laundering.

But police say the investigation is ongoing and they're not ruling out further arrests and charges.