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Fake cash guy caught in police raids

PHOTO/FILE

Stolen property, firearm and cannabis found

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
[email protected]

Several search warrants carried out in South Wairarapa this week turned up $40,000 worth of stolen goods, an illegal firearm, almost 40 cannabis plants and the person believed to be responsible for fake $50 and $100 notes found at several Wairarapa businesses.

Several Wairarapa businesses were caught out by the fake cash, prompting warnings from police to remain vigilant.

Three search warrants were carried out in Featherston and one at a Carterton property as part of a wider investigation into fraudulent activity in the Wellington region

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Dean Cadwallader said it had been a district wide operation, involving the Wellington Armed Offenders Squad carrying out the search warrants.

“The offending has been over the wider Wellington region,” he said.

He was pleased with the result of the searches and hoped it would put a stop to the fake notes being used.

“We’ll be able to get some reparations for the victims.

“It’s about trust and confidence in the police. It shows the community we’re holding these people accountable and making progress.”

The operation led to the arrest of a 32-year-old Featherston man believed to be responsible for the fraudulent currency.

He appeared in the Lower Hutt Court on 26 charges, including one charge of aggravated burglary, seven charges of using a forged document relating to the counterfeit notes used at various Wairarapa businesses, eight charges of obtaining by deception and seven attempted.

A 29-year-old Featherston man was also arrested in relation to two outstanding warrants and appeared in Masterton District Court.

At least $40,000 worth of stolen property was recovered during the operation, including a quadbike valued at $10,000 and $30,000 worth of drones from a Wainuiomata property.

At the Carterton address police also recovered about 20 rounds of ammunition and a stripped down semi-automatic airsoft rifle that was likely in the process of being converted to a functioning one.

Thirty-nine cannabis plants found will likely also lead to further court appearances for four other people.

Inspector Scott Miller said more charges will be laid in coming weeks as inquiries and the identification of the stolen goods and firearm continued.

“Police continue to remove firearms from the criminals in Wairarapa to keep members of the community safer and reduce the number of firearms in the possession of unlicensed persons who use them for violent and illegal activity.”

He said police were supported by residents, with one officer being thanked for “cleaning up the town” at the Featherston Supermarket after the arrests.

Miller said police were still looking for information about several other stolen motorcycles, trail bikes and quads.

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