Wanted Kiwi 'supreme leader' of Comanchero gang Duax Ngakuru arrested in Turkey

  • 19/01/2023
Duax Ngakuru has been arrested in Turkey.
Duax Ngakuru has been arrested in Turkey. Photo credit: Sydney Morning Herald.

A Kiwi-born bikie who has reportedly taken over as the "supreme leader" of the Comanchero motorbike club has been arrested in Turkey, New Zealand Police confirmed.

Duax Ngakuru, who allegedly operates a drug operation out of Turkey, has been accused of some of the world's biggest narcotics deals.

Ngakuru, who was born in Rotorua but moved to Sydney when he was young, has a wealth estimated to be more than $100 million.

In a statement to Newshub, police said authorities are awaiting further decisions from the Turkish government to determine the next steps for his return to New Zealand.

According to Turkish newspaper the Daily Sabah, Ngakuru was caught during a raid at an address he was staying at in the Zekeriyaköy neighbourhood of Istanbul’s Sarıyer district.

He was reportedly recently appointed as the new "supreme commander" of the Comancheros after former boss Mark Buddle was arrested in Turkey and extradited back to Australia. He was charged with importing 160kg of cocaine into Australia and faces life in prison if found guilty.  

The Comancheros were considered to be the most violent of Australia's many outlaw biker clubs during the 1970s-1980s and are now worldwide.

Buddle was caught up in the ANOM app sting, a messaging service set up by the FBI and used by criminals around the world. It allowed authorities to track communications by organised crime members in real-time.

Internationally, the action was referred to as Operation Trojan Shield. The New Zealand-specific action was Operation Spyglass. 

The criminals thought their conversations about alleged murder plots and drug crimes were secret, in reality, they were being watched by authorities.

The major transnational police operation led to dozens of arrests in New Zealand and more than 900 charges being laid against criminal organisations.

In December 2021, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Ngakuru had been recorded on ANOM saying he and Ayik were untouchable in Turkey because of the power they wield. 

The Sydney Morning Herald cited police reports that said Ngakuru believed he was invulnerable to law enforcement and could even get away with murder. 

There were recordings of Ngakuru and Ayik talking about sending drugs to New Zealand, the SMH reported.