I’m no apologist for organised crime, but NZ’s underworld is going through a unique event.
Never before has it had the sudden importation of a criminal fraternity that is far more violent than they are.
2000 ‘501s’ have been forcibly removed from Australia and deported here under threat of being renditioned to Christmas Island. Many left NZ as children and have no roots here. 40% reoffend, and there is a sizeable chunk who have seen how much less violent the domestic crime scene is and have started a gang war as they take over the drug trade.
The 501s are bringing an enormous level of violence to NZ and are using it against the domestic gangs in stand over tactics. They are also bringing high quality, cheaper meth from South American Cartels alongside guns to enforce those stand over tactics.
Th 501s are targeting existing leaders in various gangs and we have seen that violence escalate recently with this drive by shooting of the HeadHunters pad and the killings of various domestic gang members.
In response, domestic gangs have gone on a meth cooking binge while also trying to buy as many guns as possible to counter the 501s.
What we are seeing is a market in chaos with an invasive new species taking over.
Labour’s response to this 501 crime wave is a radical erosion of legal rights under the proceeds of crimes act which I fear will be as counter productive as National’s fucking with it was.
During its term, National moved the evidential threshold in the prosecution of living off the proceeds of crime from beyond reasonable doubt to balance of probabilities.
This legal change had an enormous impact on the drug economy.
You could argue that allowing the State to reduce the legal defences of the individual in this manner was exceptionally unjust and made for a one sided process, but because it was aimed at organised crime, no one cared.
But it had an unforeseen consequence.
Previously, growers of weed could structure their lives and financial arrangements through trusts and limited liability processes that insured that if they got raided, (combined with the difficulty to successfully prosecute growers under the proceeds of crime) they ultimately protected their investment.
That all changed the second the evidential thresholds moved. If you could lose everything for a plot of cannabis, then you may as well try and make as much money in as short a period of time as you can.
One weekend of making meth equals what it takes 3 months to grow for cannabis. The evidential change inadvertently pushed many previous growers into meth cooks, and was one of the reasons why the sudden drop in weed occurred a couple of years back and why it’s still dry at times.
We inadvertently upgraded an entire class of weed growers into meth cooks so the skill set to manufacture domestically exploded throughout the criminal world.
What Labour are proposing goes even further than this!
Now, again, as when the evidential thresholds were lowered from beyond reasonable doubt to balance of probabilities, one could argue that legal rights should be universal in a Democracy and as such should never be watered down regardless of who you are, but if you want a far more selfish reason to reject Labour’s extraordinary reversal of legal rights, consider this.
If passed, Police wouldn’t just be limited to criminals or gang members, they could use that against anyone.
You would have your rights of innocent until proven guilty reversed and you would be guilty needing to prove your innocence.
Don’t believe Police would misuse powers like this?
A South Auckland businessman is under siege by police who are using laws designed to target gangs and drug dealers to come after his family business, his home, and even his children’s assets. At a time when we’ve handed police extraordinary powers to deal with a health pandemic, Matt Blomfield argues that trust is being betrayed.
To hand over the presumption of innocence to the Police because you don’t think it will ever be used against you is so insanely stupid.
Come on, we aren’t really going to do this right?
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