By 3 News online staff
Police have busted a major North Island Headhunters drug ring where meth cooks were able to produce $3 million worth of product in three days.
In a series of operations police seized millions of dollars, made multiple arrests and charged almost 40 people with drug offences.
This afternoon police announced 38 Headhunter gang members are facing methamphetamine charges as a result of four operations throughout the year.
More than $4 million in cash has been seized, along with $4 million worth of methamphetamine, seized assets worth $9.1 million and 22 firearms.
As part of one operation police arrested 13 Headhunters associates and prospects this morning in Whangarei.
Detective Inspector Kevin Burke from Northland District said two clan labs, three firearms and a small amount of cannabis and methamphetamine were discovered.
"Police intelligence indicates that this Whangarei operation had the capacity to produce $3 million worth of methamphetamine per week," Mr Burke said.
"During these operations search warrants were executed in seven of the 12 police districts which illustrate the scope of this organised criminal network."
Detective Inspector Bruce Good said police pulled over a Mercedes on the motorway between Whangarei and Auckland in November and discovered a stash of methamphetamine, believed to be bound for the Auckland market, with an estimated street value of $2.5 million.
The two occupants of the car were Headhunter gang associates aged 17 and 18, he said.
The Whangarei operation this morning may have been one of the clan labs used by the Headhunters to supply the South Island methamphetamine market, he said.
"When you have cooks producing $3 million worth of methamphetamine in three days you start to see the size of the problem," he said.
He warned were several other organised criminal groups were also running similar operations.
"They are well organised, well-resourced and seemingly highly profitable," he said.
Another police operation last week uncovered $1 million in cash, a cache of stolen weapons, a Taser and several thousand rounds of ammunition at the home of a senior patched Headhunters member in Miranda, Thames.
Police believe several weapons seized from the Miranda property were part of a cache stolen from a Bucklands Beach gun collector in June.
Search warrants in Onehunga, Otahuhu and rural south Auckland turned up two further clan labs along with chemicals for making methamphetamine.
source: newshub archive