Man before court on multiple drugs charges following joint investigation

A Wellington man is due to reappear in court next month on multiple charges of importing large quantities of a variety of controlled drugs.

This comes after a joint NZ Police and NZ Customs investigation – dubbed Operation Maserati – into the importation and supply of methamphetamine, cocaine, GBL, and ketamine across the Wellington region.

Detective Senior Sergeant Hamish Blackburn of the Wellington District Organised Crime Unit says the charges were filed after five search warrants were carried out at properties across Wellington District over the last week.

A firearm was also recovered from a vehicle used to transport these drugs.

The 33-year-old man arrested is remanded in custody and is due to reappear in Wellington District Court on 5 July. Further charges are likely.

The joint investigation commenced after Customs was alerted to several significant importations into Wellington City.

Chief Customs Officer: Regional Investigations, Rachel Manning said: “Customs is pleased that the range of intelligence we were able to gather and analyse has alerted our Police partners to this criminal activity, and helped them break up what was a significant drug-smuggling operation.

DSS Blackburn says: “We will be continuing enquiries with our offshore partner agencies to identify the source that exported the drugs to New Zealand.

“Police and Customs are committed to identifying and disrupting the importation of these types of drugs which target our communities.

“We are committed to holding offenders to account, and delivering on our intent to keep New Zealanders safe,” he says.

Information can also be reported to your local Police Station or anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

We encourage anyone affected by drug addiction to seek help through the Alcohol and Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, or free text 8681.

The charges faced by the arrested man include:

2x Supply of Fantasy substances

2x Supply Methamphetamine

2x Conspiracy to Deal Class A Drug

2x Conspiracy to Deal Methamphetamine

2x Possession of Methamphetamine for Supply

1x Possession of Cocaine for Supply

2x Importing Methamphetamine

2x Importing Fantasy substances

2x Importing Stimulants/Depressants

1X Failure to carry out obligations for computer search

/NZ Police Public Release. View in full here.