Trials loom for Bay gang clash accused

AOS squad police made arrests after reports of shots being fired. Photo: supplied.

Trials involving members of two gangs involved in a clash in the Bay of Plenty are expected to begin later this year.

An armed clash between the Mongrel Mob and Outback Blacks gangs began as a body was being taken to a Whakatane crematorium in January last year.

Police had been monitoring the large group of gang members travelling between Kawerau and Whakatane in a funeral procession, a police spokesperson said at the time of the altercation.

"A motorcade of more than 100 cars carrying Mongrel Mob members left a tangi at Kawerau at around 1pm on January 17 2017 and travelled through Taneatua on the way to Whakatane."

Around 15 police officers, as well as Armed Offenders Squad staff from Tauranga and Rotorua, had been involved in monitoring the procession.

"At around 3.15pm shots were fired near the corner of Valley and Arawa Roads.”

Several arrests were made following the altercation.

Around two dozen men are expected to face High Court juries as a result of the arrests.

In total they face eight charges.

Their appearances were excused when their cases were called before Justice Rebecca Edwards in the High Court at Rotorua on Wednesday.

Pre-trial arguments are to be heard on March 27 with the matter called again on April 18.


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