Dunedin police arrest four after uncovering $300k of illicit drugs, $20k cash

Dunedin police arrest four after uncovering $300k of illicit drugs, $20k cash
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Four men have been arrested after police uncovered more than $300,000 worth of drugs and thousands of dollars in cash as part of an operation targeting illicit drug supply in Dunedin.

Southern district field crime manager Det Insp Stu Harvey said officers had been specifically targeting the production and wholesale supply of MDMA, ketamine and eutylone.

"During the operation, police seized drugs valued at up to $330,000, along with a pistol and approximately $20,000 in cash," he said.

On Tuesday, the organised crime team along with other groups executed search warrants at addresses in the city. As a result, four men aged 25, 26, 29 and 45 were arrested.

"[They] face a number of charges relating to the production, possession and supply of class A, B and C drugs."

The men are due to appear in Dunedin District Court on Wednesday.

Harvey said most of the drugs seized in the operation were being sold as MDMA (ecstasy), but some are believed to be eutylone.

Eutylone is often referred to as "bath salts", and mimics the effects of MDMA. It has been recently linked to a number of hospital admissions throughout New Zealand and Kiwi drug harm reduction service KnowYourStuffNZ revealed concerningly high levels of eutylone were found at university orientation week parties.

"It is important to remember that illicit drugs are generally manufactured or imported by people who put profit above all else and do not consider the health and wellbeing of users," Harvey said.

"These arrests and the seizure of drugs from this operation will have a significant effect on supply in Dunedin and will reduce harm. 

"Police will continue to target and prosecute those people who profit off of peddling misery in our communities."