8PM – Midnight
Police said they located a firearm, ammunition, and stolen property during their raids of Auckland properties as part of Operation Cobalt.
The searches today and yesterday were part of an investigation into a syndicate, which has associations with the Head Hunters, Detective Inspector Lloyd Schmid said.
A Tec-9 sub-machine gun, several types of ammunition and $25,000 in cash was also located at the property on Valdese Rise.
“A woman located at an address in Browns Bay was arrested and is facing serious charges as a result,” Schmid said.
Among the items found by police were 23 15g bottles of GBL, a large amount of LSD and smaller quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, and cannabis.
Police also recovered stolen property including tools and jewellery.
The 32-year-old woman is due to appear in the North Shore District Court, including on charges of possession for supply of GBL and LSD.
She has also been charged with unlawfully possessing a prohibited firearm, four counts of unlawfully possessing explosives, and theft and drugs offences.
“Operation Cobalt is continuing to target and disrupt illegal behaviour, such as the operation allegedly being operated by this syndicate,” Schmid said.
“Our search warrants were conducted at a number of addresses across the region. This is a pleasing result given the harm we know is being inflicted on communities when these drugs are distributed.”
Schmid said the investigation remains ongoing and police cannot rule out further arrests being made.
Operation Cobalt was launched in July to respond to a spike in intimidating behaviour and violence by gangs, particularly the drive-by shootings between the Killer Beez and Tribesmen in Auckland, in the first half of the year.
Since then, the police have seized more than 200 firearms and laid more than 12,900 charges in court, as well as confiscating commercial quantities of drugs and large sums of cash.
The nationwide crackdown – which includes a specialist ring-fenced team of 40 staff in Auckland – was intended to finish in December.
Police had yet to decide whether Operation Cobalt would be extended into next year.
As part of Operation Cobalt, police have found semi-automatic firearms from Mongols in a Remuera mansion, discovered drugs and cash allegedly belonging to a Head Hunter on bail at a drug rehab centre, as well as a meth lab filled with guns linked to a senior member of the Rebels.
The surge in shootings has also settled down – in particular the conflict between the Tribesmen and Killer Beez – which could be a sign that the increased attention from police has had the desired effect.
The Killer Beez and the Tribesmen were involved in at least 23 shootings in a three-week period earlier in the year.
Police continue to encourage anyone with information about illegal activities taking place in their community to contact them via the 105 service or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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