Police have seized drugs, cash and firearms in a raid of the new Canterbury headquarters of international bikie club the Mongols MC.
Several police cars and what looked like dog squad vans, were seen outside the headquarters at The Old Sawmill in Burnham, opposite the Burnham Military Camp as armed police searched the property. State Highway 1 (SH1) was closed from about 7am until 8.30am.
Ten firearms, ammunition, about $50,000 of cash, and a substance thought to be methamphetamine were seized.
The Mongols MC has more than half a dozen members and associates.
A 44-year-old man has been charged with firearms offences and would appear in the Christchurch District Court on Friday.
Detective Inspector Greg Murton said police remained at the property and further charges were likely.
He issued a warning that clubs could expect police attention.
“Police are determined to prevent those selling methamphetamine from building and enjoying the profits of crime on the back of the misery of the addictions of others.
“Methamphetamine causes serious harm within our communities and police will hold those responsible to account.”
The expansion of the Mongols MC, which first established itself in the Bay of Plenty last year, has created tension in Christchurch’s underworld.
In the past two weeks a barbershop has been firebombed in separate attacks while a tattoo parlour linked to the Mongols was smashed into with a stolen ute.
At least one of the barbershop attacks is believed to have involved Molotov cocktail-like devices.
Police are exploring whether the attacks are the work of a rival club.
A senior Canterbury-based Mongols figure was kicked out of the Hells Angels last year, which led to the disbandment of the club’s Quake City chapter in Christchurch.
He is linked to the tattoo parlour via an ex-partner.
A patched Mongols member previously said the barbershop was “sort of” connected to the club, but would not say how.
A woman purporting to be from Bristol Barbers, who would not give her name, said the business had no connection to the Mongols or any other club. She had no idea why the barber shop had been targeted twice.
The business has set up a givealittle fundraiser page, which says they could not insure the building as it was deemed a fire risk.
Stuff earlier reported the Mongols MC, involved in a recent North Island shooting, had expanded into the South Island after senior members, including national president Jim Thacker, travelled to Christchurch and started the Canterbury chapter of the club.
The patched Mongols member earlier said he expected police to come knocking on the clubhouses’ doors.
“They expect us to do the retaliation .. it’s just the way society is, we haven’t done anything wrong, but we’re going to be painted out as bad people,” he said.
A police spokesman said the armed offenders squad attended the raid “as a precaution” and guarded the road at the Burnham end.
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