Mexican cocaine ‘cartel’: Filthy Few gang members included in arrests after police, Customs raids

Eight people have been arrested after a joint police and Customs operation allegedly disrupted plans to import hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the country via a Mexican “cartel”.

Those arrested in the police raids include two patched Filthy Few gang members, police say.

Officers carried out a number of search warrants this morning at 11 properties throughout the Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Northland regions.

The operation, run by the National Organised Crime Group (NOCG), has targeted key players of a drug syndicate operating in New Zealand with links to a Mexican cartel.

It’s alleged those involved conspired to import a large quantity of cocaine and methamphetamine into New Zealand via shipping containers.

It’s also alleged some of the group imported a smaller quantity of cocaine from their Central American contacts by courier mail to sell and distribute in New Zealand.

The group, aged between 26 and 62, include two patched members of the Rotorua chapter of the Filthy Few Motorcycle Club, police said.

All are due to appear in the Tauranga District Court over the coming days.

National Organised Crime Group’s Acting Detective Inspector John Brunton said the investigation was another example of police working collaboratively with New Zealand Customs to prevent the devastating harm created by the sale and supply of illicit drugs.

“In this case, thanks to the efforts of a dedicated investigation team who worked around the clock, we were able to identify and disrupt this syndicate’s plans before the drug shipment reached New Zealand shores,” he said.

“We want to send a clear message that those importing or dealing such drugs will be found out, will be arrested and prosecuted.”

Brunton said police could not rule out further arrests as the investigation was ongoing.

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