Police raids on Mongol MC gang shut down 'significant organised crime operation'

Handcuffs. Photo credit: Getty

A significant organised crime operation has been terminated following a series of search warrants targeting the homes and associates of the Mongols motorcycle gang, New Zealand Police confirmed on Tuesday.

The Mongols MC have been at the centre of gang conflict across the Bay of Plenty and Christchurch since leading members, deported from Australia, established a chapter in New Zealand last year.

On Tuesday morning, detectives from the National Organised Crime Group (NOCG) raided a number of properties linked to Mongols' members and associates in the Bay of Plenty. The search warrants, executed in Papamoa and Te Puke, mark the conclusion of an investigation led by the NOCG's Tauranga-based team.

Several senior gang members have also been arrested on firearms or drug offences within the past six months.

Detective Superintendent Greg Williams of the NOCG will hold a media briefing at 1pm on Tuesday regarding the success of the Operation Silk investigation.

"Police have today terminated a significant organised crime operation in Bay of Plenty targeting the Mongols gang," Williams confirmed in a statement.

In May, police revealed they had used the COVID-19 lockdown to crack down on a number of notorious gangs, including the Mongols, Black Power, Mongrel Mob and Headhunters.

The specialised police task force was created in the Bay of Plenty in March 2018 to help crack down on motorcycle gangs, with a particular focus on Australian gangs expanding their territories across the Tasman. 

The raids follow the arrest of the Mongols' national president less than two weeks ago. He was taken into police custody after a loaded pistol was allegedly found in his vehicle, NZME reports.