Police have today arrested 12 people following the gang related shootings and disorder in Whakatane January 17.

The team investigating the shootings, assisted by the Rotorua and Tauranga Armed Offender Squads and other staff from across the Bay of Plenty executed four search warrants at properties in Whakatane this morning.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Wilson of the Bay of Plenty Police said that 12 men from Whakatane have been arrested as a result of the search warrants and the investigation.

The men are facing a raft of charges including:

  • Using a firearm against law enforcement officers
  • Reckless Discharge of a Firearm
  • Unlawful Possession of Firearms
  • Participating in an Organised Criminal Group
  • Rioting

A firearm and a quantity of ammunition were also located during the searches.

“The antisocial behaviour of these individuals and the events of 17 January were dangerous and unacceptable, and because of them members of the public were put at risk,” said Mr Wilson.

While the investigation team have made significant progress today with these arrests, we would like to assure the Whakatane community that police will continue to investigate until all those identified are held to account for their behaviour.

Police would like to thank all those who came forward to assist with this enquiry.

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