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Five arrests in Wellington drug operation; assets worth hundreds of thousands restrained

Timoci Vula
Friday, March 09, 2018

Update: 12:48PM WELLINGTON: NEW Zealand Police have arrested five Wellingtonians and restrained hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets following a long-running investigation into the importation and sale of a Class C drug.

The operation began in November last year and focussed on the importation of N-Ethylpentylone - a relatively new Class C-controlled drug commonly referred to as Brown Sugar, Mephedrone or Drone - into the Wellington region.

Yesterday (Thursday, March 8), Police executed a series of search warrants throughout the Wellington district that led to the arrest of four men and one woman, aged between 25 and 37 years.  

Two of the men have been charged with a range of drug-related offences, including importing a class C-controlled drug into New Zealand and are due to appear in Wellington District Court today.

Police said the other three are due to appear on Monday, March 12 - the men on drug-related offences and the woman on a money laundering charge.

Police also restrained a substantial amount of property, including over $405,000 cash, about 6kg of N-Ethylpentylone and seven vehicles - two Harley Davidsons, an Audi, HSV Commodore, Mercedes, Chevrolet ute and Maserati.

Also restrained was over $200,000 of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Wellington Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Shane Dye said anyone dealing drugs, whether it be Class A, B, or C, could expect to be a target of similar operations.

"If you are a drug dealer of any kind, we will come after you, we will hold you to account and we will restrain and obtain forfeiture of your assets," ADSS Dye said.

"We hear a lot about the harmful impact of Class A drugs like methamphetamine, but this drug - and others like it - are also doing real harm.

"Any minute spent taking drugs is a minute not spent with your family. Any dollar spent taking drugs is a dollar not spent on your family.

"Operations like this help protect our families and prevent further harm in our communities.

"If you or someone you know has a drug addiction, contact the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797."

ADSS Dye urges anyone with information relating to this operation to contact Wellington Police on 04 981 2000 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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