The Armed Offenders Squad stormed a Waiheke address in an early morning raid to catch a man connected to last month’s Beach Haven kidnapping.

Detective Sergeant Ray Fa’aofo says police carried out a search warrant at an Oneroa address at 4.30am on Friday morning. The address was housing people connected to the Mongols gang, and four people were arrested without incident. “Amongst those we located was the 25-year-old who was wanted to arrest over the earlier kidnapping.”

In early April, media reported the arrest of a 32-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman who were charged for taking part in the violent kidnapping of a woman in the North Shore suburb of Beach Haven on 2 April. Police reported to the media they were called in with reports a woman was injured and abducted during an altercation where a gun was fired. Police managed to rescue the woman and caught two of the three kidnappers a day later but the third escaped. Police asked the public for information about a 25-year-old Auckland man, who they believed to be the third offender who was shot during the kidnapping.

Detective Sergeant Fa’aofo says the 25-year-old was due to make his first appearance in the North Shore District Court on Friday 3 May. He is being charged with kidnapping, commission of a crime with a firearm, committing burglary with a firearm, and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The man will also face additional firearms charges since he was found in possession of a loaded shotgun during the morning raid.

The raid involved several specialist police groups in addition to the Armed Offenders Squad and Waiheke police including; Operation Cobalt staff, the Eagle police helicopter, and the Auckland Police Maritime Unit. Detective Sergeant Fa’aofo says the other three Mongols affiliates that were arrested will be facing a range of charges. Two 30-year-old men will be appearing in the North Shore and Auckland District Courts for breach of bail conditions, and a 46-year-old woman is being charged as an accessory after the fact to the kidnapping, ammunition charges and breach of bail. “This group may have had weekend plans, but this morning’s warrant has changed that, and instead their trip is to face their matters in court,” Detective Sergeant Fa’aofo says. “Our team has been working for countless hours in recent weeks to locate the man sought over the kidnapping incident. It is pleasing we have now located all of those we allege were involved in that violent incident.”

An Oneroa resident tells Gulf News they witnessed the raid on Queens Drive, and thought she heard two gunshots. Gulf News understands these were not gunshots, but the sound of “distraction devices” used by police to disorientate suspects believed to be armed. The resident reports the arrested suspects were taken to Kennedy Point and picked up by the police vessel Deodar at around 5.45am. • Paul Mitchell

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