Man on trial over meth bust at Dunedin Airport

A man charged in relation to a methamphetamine bust at Dunedin Airport is on trial in the Tauranga High Court.

Jay Tarahina Kiwi appeared before Judge Thomas Ingram and 12 jurors yesterday.

Kiwi pleaded not guilty to four charges of conspiracy to supply a Class A drug, namely methamphetamine, and two charges of possession of methamphetamine for supply.

He also denied two charges of threatening to cause bodily harm and one charge of money laundering.

The court heard Kiwi had checked in to Tauranga Airport with another man at 6am on September 9 in 2016.

Crown prosecutor Richard Jenson told the court both men had tickets to Christchurch and Dunedin and had checked in one "piece of luggage" each.

The pair were intercepted by police after they arrived at Dunedin Airport at 10.30am on September 9.

Jenson told jurors the other man ran off, throwing a bag containing empty snaplock bags and a glass "P" pipe on the ground and another bag containing 78g of methamphetamine on the airport's roof.

The court heard Kiwi was later found to have had $933 and a further $5000 in $50 notes in his luggage.

A search warrant at Kiwi's address in Tauranga found just over 500g of methamphetamine in 17 individual snaplock bags inside a bucket in the boot of a Suzuki Swift, believed to be his.

"If sold [that] is hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of meth in the boot of that Suzuki," Jenson told the court.

A surveillance device warrant obtained by police allowed them to intercept phone calls made by Kiwi from August 12, 2016, to September 9, 2016, in what was described as "Operation Black Ice".

The phone calls revealed Kiwi had threatened a woman he is accused of attempting to supply methamphetamine to, saying: "I will come over there and punch your head in... You f***ing wait, I am f***ing coming".

Jenson told the jury that the pair had also arranged to travel to the South Island over the phone with the intention to fly to Dunedin with a quantity of methamphetamine.

The jury was told Kiwi's girlfriend had booked the flights to Dunedin for the pair on September 7, 2016.

On the same day, Kiwi had arranged for another woman to purchase a white Suzuki Swift which he paid $6900 for in cash, the court heard.

Jenson told the jury Kiwi had asked the woman to register the car in her name, which she did.

Tauranga Police detective Nigel Grey confirmed to the court he was the officer in charge of Operation Black Ice which investigated Jay Kiwi who was also known as "Jay Blacks".

Grey confirmed Kiwi was the vice president of the Greazy Dogs.

Defence lawyer Peter Kaye said the jury needed to be clear whether Kiwi had intended for his threats to be taken seriously and if the intention was to follow through with the alleged agreement.

Kaye also asked jurors to be clear about whether or not Kiwi was definitely in possession of the drug.

 

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