Police in Christchurch and Auckland have today arrested and charged five members of Rebels MC after a 10-month investigation which identified a number of offences. The men have been charged with more than 25 charges between them.
The charges are for a variety of offences, ranging from participation in an organised crime group, possession for supply of methamphetamine, and cannabis and firearms charges.
The investigation involved the execution of a number of search warrants by the Canterbury Organised Crime Unit and Offender Prevention Team.
Multiple firearms were recovered during the course of the investigation, along with quantities of methamphetamine and cannabis.
During the investigation the gang vacated the gang pad, situated near a local school, after police interventions forced the gang out.
“The arrests today send a clear message to the Rebels from Police that we will not tolerate their criminal behaviour in Canterbury,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Jason Stewart.
“The type of social harm caused by these organisations cannot be underestimated and Police will continue work to disrupt and dismantle their criminal activities.”
"The supply of drugs is a major driver of other crimes such as burglary, assault and theft by people who are trying to finance their drug use."
“Police are seeing these people resort to crimes, particularly violent crimes, to finance their drug use.
The Rebels MC gang was founded in Brisbane, Australia and is estimated to have more than 2,000 members, residing mostly in Australia. NZ Police have been actively combating the gang's spread into New Zealand.
A number of members were reportedly intercepted at Auckland International Airport in 2011 and sent back to Australia. Despite such actions, the gang appears to have gained a foothold in New Zealand.
The men will appear in Christchurch and Auckland District Courts tomorrow.