Auckland, Jan 11 NZPA - More than 12 people are facing charges over an alleged drug ring centred around Auckland's maximum security Prison at Paremoremo which has reportedly made at least one prisoner a millionaire.
Police say Michael Anthony Laumanu controlled the manufacture of methamphetamine, also known as P, while fellow King Cobra member Ulaisi "Rocky" Pulete was directing the supply and distribution of the drug.
They are among more than a dozen who have been charged following 18 months of police investigations, the Herald on Sunday reported.
All the accused have denied the charges at their appearances in North Shore and Waitakere District Courts.
The police summary of facts alleged that one prisoner, who cannot be named, illicitly connected to the internet and organised the banking and investment of drug profits.
It said some of the accused arranged the importing of methamphetamine precursors from China, and that accused prisoners organised associates to manufacture them into P.
A mobile phone that police say belonged to Pulete made and received nearly 600 calls and 3800 text messages in a 13 week period in 2007, the summary of facts said.
It said Pulete's cover to make these calls and texts was prayer sessions of the Islamic faith he adopted.
Pulete talked about "over one million dollars" profit for fellow accused Wanzhe Gui, police said. They believe other prisoners enjoyed similar profits.
Numerous gangs are alleged to have links to the business, including the Head Hunters and Mongrel Mob.
It said police did not talk to the Department of Corrections about the syndicate "due to the very sensitive (nature) of this police investigation".
A depositions hearing to decide whether the accused have a case to answer is expected later this year.
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