Multiple arrests have been made and a number of firearms have been seized in recent weeks, as part of Operation Bloodhound, an ongoing operation to investigate and disrupt gang activities.
Since Operation Bloodhound started on March 21, search warrants have been conducted at addresses and on vehicles across Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti, targeting members and associates of the Mongrel Mob and Black Power.
“As a result of these warrants, more than 30 people associated with gangs in Eastern District are facing charges, and more than 30 firearms have been taken out of the hands of gang members and associates,” says Detective Inspector Dave de Lange, Eastern District Crime Services Manager.
“Police have also seized a large amount of cash, with approximately $100,000 located at a gang headquarters in Napier yesterday (pictured).”
Some of the guns seized during the operation. Supplied images.
As part of the operation, Police received intelligence suggesting that a Hawke’s Bay man was allegedly making firearms and other weapons.
A search warrant was executed at the man’s rural property on 29 March and uncovered several home-made pistols and IEDs, a range of other firearms and firearms parts and ammunition, as well as cannabis plants and drug utensils.
The man, a 54-year-old gang associate, is now facing multiple charges of unlawfully carrying/possessing a firearm/restricted weapon; as well as charges relating to unlawfully possessing ammunition, cultivating cannabis, and possession/use of methamphetamine utensils.
“As part of Operation Bloodhound, patrols have also been deployed into communities across Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti where we know there is a large gang presence,” says Detective Inspector de Lange.
“These patrols have been undertaking enforcement activity in relation to road policing, and compliance with court orders and directives.”
As a result of these deployments, a number of gang members or associates have been charged with driving-related offences, and vehicles have been impounded.
Some of the seized cash.
In one traffic stop, Police located approximately $14,000 cash in the vehicle, as well a number of weapons and drug utensils.
An investigation into this matter is ongoing and several charges are likely.
“Eastern District Police have absolutely no tolerance for offending by gang members and associates in our communities.
“We are 100 per cent committed to disrupting and combatting their criminal activities wherever and whenever we find evidence of offending, and those involved should be on notice.”