A major operation against multiple organised crime groups with international links will make a significant dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks, Police Minister Poto Williams says.
"I want to take an opportunity to congratulate the Police for their role in Operation Trojan Shield. This Government is very clear that violent gangs and other criminals cannot continue to threaten, intimidate, and exploit our communities. Operation Trojan Shield highlights our commitment to disrupting organised crime and will have a major impact on organised crime syndicates in New Zealand and across the globe," said Poto Williams.
"This Government has made it very clear - we will not tolerate organised crime and gangs. Just last month we announced our intention to amend the Proceeds of Crime legislation to ensure that those involved in organised crime would have to demonstrate their assets were obtained through legitimate means. If they can't, their assets will be seized.
"This Government has put a record number of Police on the frontline with a specific focus on organised crime. This Government's record investment in Police will include 700 additional investigators. This operation highlights the excellent impact these officers can have.
"New Zealanders have the right to feel safe in their homes and their communities. This crackdown will go a long way to making New Zealanders safer by tackling the sale and supply of illicit drugs, firearm offences and serious money laundering activities that cause so much harm in our communities.
"Through Operation Trojan Shield - more than 300 officers executed 37 search warrants across the North Island. Illegal firearms, methamphetamine, cannabis, and more than an estimated $1 million in cash has also been recovered. Police have also arrested 35 individuals and laid over 900 charges.
"This international operation, led by the FBI and co-ordinated with the DEA, AFP, Europol and numerous other law enforcement partners from more than a dozen countries, is testament to the hard work of Police officers and the relationships they have built with their international colleagues," Poto Williams said.