Waikato Mongrel Mob chapter is victim of 'smear campaign' after members arrested, says gang's PR rep

Source: 1News

A Mongrel Mob PR person says the gang’s Waikato chapter is a victim of a “smear campaign” after some of its senior members were among the 35 gang members arrested today as a result of a global law enforcement operation.

 Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom adviser Louise Hutchinson

“Senior members” of Waikato Mongrel Mob were arrested alongside counterparts from the Waikato Comancheros, National Organised Crime group director Greg Williams said today.

Louise Hutchinson, who has advocated on behalf of the Mongrel Mob chapter in the past, replied to 1 NEWS’s tweet of the story about the arrests accusing police and politicians of driving a smear campaign.

“Lol do you seriously believe all the bullshit that the NZ Police (and Police Commissioner Andrew Coster) spin about the Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom this is a total smear campaign driven by the NZ Police, politicians and mainstream media!” she wrote.

Williams said Waikato Comancheros and Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom members are alleged to have worked with offshore groups to import large quantities of methamphetamine and MDMA for distribution across New Zealand. 

In a press conference this morning, Williams said “a number of other people” were yet to be located as part of Operation Trojan Shield.

As part of the international crackdown, police seized $3.7 million in assets, over 8kg of 20 methamphetamine, large bags of cannabis, kilograms of iodine, and four firearms. Border seizures accounted for 8.6 kilograms of the methamphetamine.  

Fourteen vehicles were also seized, including two marine vessels, and an estimated $1 million in cash. 

The seizures came after police revealed it executed 37 search warrants at about 4pm yesterday in the Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Central and Wellington districts as part of Operation Trojan Shield.

The operation saw major enforcement action in more than a dozen countries around the world, including in the US, Australia and Europe. It targeted the importation, sale and supply of methamphetamine, as well as money laundering. 

Those arrested will appear in the Auckland District Court and Hamilton District Court today facing a wide range of serious drug dealing and money laundering offences, police said.