Sixteen people have been arrested and approximately $1,000,000 in assets has been seized following the execution of search warrants across Hawke's Bay this morning.
Police said the search warrants followed a significant operation by the Hawke's Bay Organised Crime Unit, targeting the sale of methamphetamine and cannabis by an organised crime group.
The majority of those arrested today were either patched members of the Mongrel Mob or their associates, including the leader of a Hawke's Bay Mongrel Mob chapter.
Police said they had located methamphetamine, cash, cannabis and 10 firearms.
Most of those arrested, who range in age from 18 to 46, will be appearing in Hastings District Court on May 20, facing a number of serious drug and firearms charges.
Assets seized include a house, vehicles and motorbikes, as well as approximately $400,000 in cash.
"This morning's warrants are the culmination of an ongoing operation by the Organised Crime Unit into the sale of methamphetamine and cannabis throughout Hawke's Bay," says Detective Inspector Mike Foster.
"Organised crime is all about money. Attacking the profits of organised criminal groups is a key part of our strategy to deter and disrupt their operations, and combat the illegal activities they're involved in."
The warrants executed today were related to the recent arrest of three senior Mongrel Mob members in Auckland and Flaxmere.
Approximately $315,000 cash was located and seized in relation to those three arrests, and all three men were jointly charged with conspiracy to supply methamphetamine.
"These organised criminal groups cause considerable harm in our communities," says Detective Inspector Foster.
"They are focused on making money through illegal activity and prey on the most vulnerable members of our community to do so."
"Just how little regard this group has for our community was again demonstrated during lockdown, as they continued with their illegal activities, with no care or concern for the very real risks their activities posed."
Anyone with information about the sale and supply of illegal substances should contact their local Police by calling 105, or phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Anyone impacted by the use of illegal substances can also seek help by contacting your local GP, by ringing the Alcohol and Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, or texting 8681 seven days a week to speak to a trained counsellor.