The Weekend Press
A man has been granted bail as he faces charges of possessing illegal weapons, including a military-style semi-automatic firearm, after police raided the Mongols club headquarters near Christchurch.
Police seized 10 firearms, ammunition, about $50,000 in cash, and a substance thought to be methamphetamine on Thursday after they raided the club’s new headquarters in Burnham on the outskirts of the city.
Court documents show a 44-yearold man faces 13 charges in relation to the raid.
He is alleged to have possessed four restricted weapons, including a military-style semi-automatic (MSSA), two shotguns with altered magazines, and a stun gun.
He is also charged with possessing explosives after police found 100 9mm rounds, 10 12-gauge shotgun shells, 100 rounds of .223 ammunition and two smoke grenades. Further firearms charges involve possessing a .22 rifle, a shotgun, and a Glock pistol.
The 44-year-old faces two drug charges of possessing LSD and methamphetamine.
He appeared before Judge Raoul Neave in the Christchurch District Court yesterday afternoon.
He was granted bail and name suppression and will reappear on March 12.
Discussions in the hearing and the reasons for bail were suppressed.
The Mongols MC has several members and associates.
Detective Inspector Greg Murton said on Thursday 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 two 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 through 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 barbershop had been targeted twice.
The business has set up a Givealittle fundraiser page because it was uninsured.