Crime busters bring offenders to justice

$15000 in cash seized during Operation Cobalt along with firearms (Photo Supplied)

Praneeta Mahajan

Hamilton, February 28, 2023

Drugs and addiction-related damage is a serious menace for any society and tough action against perpetrators of such crimes is always welcome news for members of the public.

New Zealand Police has been proactively working to take tough and timely action to deter such activities in the country and two successful operations stand witness to the effectiveness of their constant efforts.

Operation Cobalt

Cambridge Police have been investigating the supply and manufacture of methamphetamine, as part of Operation Cobalt, and have significantly disrupted the operations of drug suppliers in the township.

As a result of the operation, Three men, aged 32, 34 and 55, have been arrested over the past four weeks following a number of successful search warrants. All three men, who have gang associations, will face a range of serious drug and firearm charges.

They appeared in the Hamilton District Court last week. Police seized three ounces of methamphetamine, a methamphetamine lab inside a horse float, over $15,000 cash, firearms and ammunition during the search warrants.

Cambridge Sergeant Ben Joll, the Officer in Charge said, “This is a fantastic result which has been achieved through good Police work by local staff and community support. We hope that these arrests provide some reassurance to the Cambridge community that we are committed to making our communities safer from the influence and harm caused by gangs and their criminal activities.”

He said, “These arrests will make an impact on the harm caused by drugs in our community, the consequences of which reach much further than the individual user. We have no tolerance for this sort of offending and urge anyone to contact the Police if you have concerns about or suspect drug activity in your neighbourhood.”

Operation Hermes

Around the same time last week, Hamilton Police also arrested a woman on drug and dishonesty charges. The 35-year-old woman was arrested by the Waikato Tactical Crime Unit in relation to Operation Hermes on February 20, 2023.

The operation was a 12-month-long investigation into the supply of methamphetamine, the importation and supply of Gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL)/Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) and dishonesty offences committed by the Hamilton-based offender.

The woman appeared in the Hamilton District Court on February 21, 2023 on 18 charges, including for the possession, supply and importation of drugs, theft of a motor vehicle, obtaining by deception and receiving stolen property.

Detective Senior Sergeant Terri Wilson said, “Police remain focused on any individuals who profit by supplying meth to the most vulnerable members of our community. The harmful consequences of drugs are wide-reaching and go far beyond the individual user, often translating into other areas of crime such as burglary, serious violence and intimidation.”

He said, “Police will continue to focus on disrupting illicit drug manufacturing and distribution in our communities. We cannot solve this problem alone, and members of the public play a critical role in helping us keep their communities safe.”

If you see anything suspicious, or suspect drug activity in your neighbourhood, please contact the Police at the earliest.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

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