A man has appeared in court this morning charged with firearms offences after police responded to reports of an alleged armed kidnapping yesterday.
Police arrested a 29-year-old West Coast labourer 90kms from Christchurch where a 70-year-old driver allegedly told service station staff that an armed man was forcing him to drive to the West Coast.
At Christchurch District Court today, the man, a labourer from a small West Coast town, faced three firearms charges, including unlawful possession of a 9mm rifle and 8mm pistol, and unlawful possession of 10 9mm rounds and 10 8mm rounds.
No kidnapping charges have been laid in court today.
The police investigation is ongoing.
The man made a brief appearance from custody before Judge Tony Couch this morning before he adjourned the case to be recalled later this afternoon.
Staff at a Christchurch service station called police just before 2pm yesterday saying a customer allegedly told them he was being abducted by a man with guns who wanted him to drive them through to the West Coast.
After a massive manhunt west of the city, a car was found heading west on State Highway 73.
Police units took chase and arrested a 29-year-old man without incident at Lake Lyndon on the Arthurs Pass road about 90kms from Christchurch. No one was injured, police said.
They said a number of firearms were found inside the vehicle.
The arrested man was taken back to Christchurch for questioning as police launched an investigation.
Detective Sergeant Craig Johnson today said: "Further inquiries conducted last night have now established that the victim and the alleged offender were known to each other."
Police say they are continuing to support the victim.