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Multiple Arrests, Weapons Seized By Police

Police arrested 15 people today at a tangi procession in Whakatāne.


14 of the 15 arrested were either associated with or are patched gang members.


Eastern Bay Area Commander Inspector Nicky Cooney said some of the arrests were done using the Search and Surveillance Act through gang conflict warrants.


Three people were arrested on warrants to arrest after previously failing to appear in court.


Another four were also arrested for unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.


Cooney said other charges included breaching release conditions, failing to stop for police, drug possession, dangerous driving, and driving while disqualified.


Police also seized multiple weapons including a knuckle duster, an axe, a cut-down Ruger Semi-automatic .22 rifle, a cut-down Rossi Semi-automatic .22 rifle, two machetes, and a variety of both knives and ammunition.


Six motorcycles were also seized by Police.


The Police Eagle helicopter was in the air to assist officers on the ground.


Cooney acknowledged those wanting to pay their respects at the tangi.


But she said unlawful activity will not be tolerated, and that Police "will not hesitate to hold those people to account."


She said Police presence will continue in the area into tomorrow and will follow up on “any incidents of unlawful behaviour after the fact.”

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