Police are confident they have shut down a major source of
supply of methamphetamine into Southland after the arrest of
two men they allege are "linchpins" in the supply and
distribution of the drug into the region.
A four-month operation, titled "Operation Queen", involving
six police, culminated in the arrest yesterday of a
46-year-old Hamilton man, formerly of Invercargill, and a
43-year-old Auckland man.
Both face methamphetamine supply charges. One appeared in
court yesterday and the other will appear in court today.
Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Inglis, of the
Dunedin-based Southern district organised crime squad, said
cannabis and methamphetamine, equipment used in the
manufacture of methamphetamine, and $4000 in cash were seized
during a search of Hamilton and Auckland properties.
"Most of the methamphetamine in Southland is brought in from
Auckland and this operation has targeted the source of the
supply," he said.
Police allege the two men's activities have resulted in
methamphetamine with a street value of between $150,000 and
$200,000 being sold into Southland. The volume was
"substantial" and information should be available today about
the total amount, he said.
This was the third police operation within a year targeting
drug supply and distribution.
Operation Rocky resulted in the arrest of three South Otago
men, and Operation Moses focused on Queenstown, Invercargill,
Dunedin and Auckland. During Operation Moses, police seized
class A drugs worth an estimated $100,000.
Det Snr Sgt Inglis said while the most recent operation shut
down the Auckland-based source, "people will be quick to try
and pick up the business and fill the gap".
"And we'll continue to target anyone who tries to bring
methamphetamine into this area.
"Cannabis and alcohol remain the biggest drugs found in the
southern area but methamphetamine causes a lot of harm and is
linked to serious crime and violence. It certainly destroys
lives, so we'll prevent it getting to the streets where we
Many members of the public "don't like the drug" and some
people had provided information through the Crimestoppers
police phone line, which helped police investigations, he
Supplying methamphetamine was seen by people involved as a
"lucrative" operation, but they had no concern for the level
of harm wrought on Southern communities, he said.