More than 200kg of meth seized, two people arrested in Auckland

More than 200kg of methamphetamine has been seized and two people have been arrested as part of a major drug operation in Auckland.

Police confirmed in a statement on Friday that a search warrant was carried out at a central Auckland apartment complex last week as part of the National Organised Crime Group's Operation Essex. 

That operation has "targeted members of an overseas criminal organisation working in New Zealand".

After entering the apartment, police found a wardrobe filled with cardboard packing boxes which had plastic storage containers in them filled with the drug.

The more than 200kg of methamphetamine seized has an estimated street value of approximately $144 million, according to police.

The meth haul.
The meth haul. Photo credit: Police.

At the scene, police found a 60-year-old British man, who has now been charged with possessing the drug for supply. He has been remanded in custody until September 4 when he will appear in the Auckland District Court.

Further investigations led police to a second UK man, described as 49-years-old and who allegedly supported the other man. He has also been charged with possessing methamphetamine for supply and has been remanded in custody until August 27 when he will appear in the Manukau District Court.

Detective Inspector Paul Newman said the seizure would come as a blow to the New Zealand meth market.

"Wastewater analysis indicates New Zealanders are using about 16kg of methamphetamine a week. The quantity seized then is equivalent to four months of national methamphetamine consumption," he said.

"New Zealand is being targeted by overseas criminal networks looking to exploit our families and communities for their own gain. This quantity of methamphetamine would have caused an extraordinary amount of harm and we would have all suffered as a result."


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