One of the convicted rapists in Christchurch's Mama Hooch drink-spiking ring told police his drink may have been drugged

Police are warning people to be vigilant when out drinking in the wake of the Christchurch drink-spiking ring revealed on Wednesday.

Newshub has the police interview one of the Christchurch rapists gave when first spoken to and he tries to tell the detective that his memory is blurry and maybe his drink was spiked.

CCTV vision shows two young women on the night they were drugged in 2018.  

It captured the then-teenagers walking down the street incapacitated. One of them is unable to control her neck, her head swaying from side to side.

Unlike many of the victims, these women, seen with the offender, went to the police the very next day and had medical tests.

"Flunitrazepam was identified in her hair and that is known as Rohypnol and a date rape drug," Crown prosecutor Andrew MacRae said.

This incident led police to the two men and their web of drink-spiking and sexual assaults on multiple women over a period of more than four years.

"A review of sexual assault files then occurred by police and multiple drug sexual assault complaints had been received," MacRae said.

A search of the police intelligence database between 2016 and 2019 disclosed 38 occurrences across the entire region - 24 of which came from Mama Hooch.

Mama Hooch which was later rebranded as Gold Aroma under a new operator, but has since closed.
Mama Hooch which was later rebranded as Gold Aroma under a new operator, but has since closed. Photo credit: Google Maps

One of the now-convicted rapists was then taken to police HQ for questioning by Detective Roger Carran.

The offender questioned if one of the women was even present and suggested any sexual contact was consensual.

As his story begins to unravel, he asks if it was actually him who could have been drugged.

"Could I have had something put in my drink possibly?" he said. "Which has got me thinking now why I'm not remembering parts of the night."

He goes on to repeat this twice more.

"I could have potentially had something put in my drink," he said.

"Is it a possibility that my drink has had something put in it?"

Astonishingly the drink-spiking at Mama Hooch continued after this interview.

"It's really disturbing to see what happened and how they systematically went about trying to make these complainants vulnerable," Detective Inspector Scott Anderson said.

Police said it undoubtedly still happens with other offenders today.

"As you've heard throughout this trial, it's extremely difficult to prove that drugs have been used to stupify or disable people," Det Insp Anderson said.

"But I think it would be really naive to think that this didn't go, that this didn't happen."

Police are warning anyone out drinking to be alert.

"Looking after your friends that you're going out with, making sure that they're safe, that you're safe. And just looking after your drinks when you are out, because unfortunately there are predators out there that will take advantage of vulnerable people," Det Insp Anderson said.

The case, revealed on Wednesday, involved three defendants but the third man walked free from court after being acquitted on almost all charges except one minor charge of supply.

These three men were all in the WhatsApp group that shared thousands of depraved messages, images and videos of victims.

And there was a fourth man in this group that Newshub also can't yet name. In a related trial starting this Monday, that fourth man faces one sexual violation charge relating to one woman.