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Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Armed police have stormed the Mongrel Mob's Wairoa headquarters, arresting nine gang members and charging two over a shooting in the northern Hawke's Bay town last year.

17:02 | ,

A 17-year-old man was shot in the chest with a shotgun in an "altercation" with Black Power members outside the headquarters in October.

Detective inspector Ross Pinkham said of the nine arrested, several were senior mob members. They will be charged with offences including participating in a criminal group and offering to supply methamphetamine.

Two men have been jointly charged with the 17-year-old's shooting. Both face a charge of being a party to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Houses were also searched in Napier and Hastings, in what police have described as a "concentrated focus on curtailing gang activity" in Wairoa.

There have been a number of gang incidents in the town in recent months, including a second attack days after the first shooting, which police believe was retaliation by Black Power.

A Mongrel Mob member was left seriously injured after he was shot by a masked man through the window of a car at a Mobil station.

Despite releasing video footage of the shooting last week, no arrests in that case have yet been made.

Pinkham said he couldn't stress enough the importance of information brought forward by the public regarding the gang incidents.

"Our investigations have been hampered by both gangs refusing to cooperate with us and we are relying heavily on witnesses or people who may know something about these incidents," he said.

"It is well-known that these gangs are involved in organised crime, drugs and inter-gang rivalry - and have done so for many years."

"Our message to the community is if you want to live in a safe environment, you have to help us.  People need to come to terms with the fact that there is a serious gang problem in Wairoa," Mr Pinkham said.

Those arrested today were mostly from the Wairoa and Nuhaka areas. They will be appearing in the Wairoa, Gisborne and Napier District Courts today.

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