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Police Minister Ginny Andersen is congratulating Police as provisional figures released this week show they have seized nearly three quarters of a tonne of methamphetamine in relation to Operation Lavender, possibly the largest ever meth bust in New Zealand.

A provisional total of 746.9 kilograms was seized during the search warrant in Manukau in March. Operation Lavender has also seen numerous serious drugs charges already laid.

“I’m incredibly proud of our Police who continue to work hard to disrupt organised crime,” Ginny Andersen said.

“Methamphetamine destroys lives and wreaks havoc on our communities. Thanks to the hard work of our Police, three quarters of a tonne of methamphetamine will never make it into our communities.

“This will also deal a significant financial blow to gangs and organised criminals.

“The Government has increased Police funding by 50%, added an additional 1800 Police, and added nearly 700 organised crime roles. We can see that this increased investment is making a real difference.

The Government has also enabled Police to crack down on gangs and organised crime by:

  • Introducing gang conflict legislation, which has allowed Police to successfully supress gang conflict in Opōtiki and Palmerston North.
  • Introducing legislation to make it harder for gang leaders to benefit financially from their crimes, meaning criminals need to prove that they obtained their assets legally, rather than the Crown having to prove they were obtained illegally.
  • Invested an extra $100 million into tackling organised crime.
  • Expanding the law around criminal proceeds to include associates, so that if Police have reason to believe assets were gained improperly they have powers to seize them, even if they’re under a different name.
  • Cracking down on those who drive recklessly or illegally in gang convoys, by expanding the range of offences where Police can seize and impound cars, motorbikes and other vehicles.

“The best way to disrupt organised crime and the harm it causes is by resourcing the Police and giving them the proper legislative tools to ensure that they can effectively hold offenders to account, not knee-jerk, headline-grabbing slogans,” Ginny Andersen said.

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