Mongrel Mob Kingdom president claims he didn't know a member was dealing drugs

By D'Angelo Martin

After the police raids that resulted in one of Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom's high-ranking senior members last week being charged with possession and distribution of methamphetamine, Sonny Fatupaito, the chapter president, says he was not aware of the member's activity "behind closed doors."

Faitupaito is adamant he is telling the truth. "I can tell you right here and now I ain't involved with any drug distribution at all."

Late Thursday evening Police and Armed Offenders Squad members served a search warrant on his address,  only to leave emptyhanded. There were two other addresses across Hamilton city that were also searched.

"I said to them, I don't know why you're at my home, I don't know why you had to bring the goon squad to try and cut my gate and I don't know why you had to put guns in front of children. I don't even know why you were even here."

Dealing charges

The Waikato Mongrel Mob Kingdom chapter stands by its position of being for the community and against methamphetamine. However, that stance might have been tarnished because one of its raided senior members was charged with importing methamphetamine, selling/supplying methamphetamine, and possession of methamphetamine for supply. 

A 50-year-old man and a 47-year-old female gang associate both appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Friday.

Police were asked for comment today on Fatupaito's claims today but declined to comment further and referred Te Ao Maori News to a police statement issued on Friday. It said commercial quantities of methamphetamine, GBL and cannabis were located during the warrants, along with cash and drug paraphernalia.

In the statement Waikato District Investigations Manager, Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley. said Waikato Police was committed to investigating  organised criminal groups" that continue to supply methamphetamine and other drugs to our most vulnerable members of our communities, taking money out of their pockets to fund their own greed.”

Police operation

“These arrests are the result of an ongoing operation targeting the supply of methamphetamine and other illicit drugs across the district.”

But Fatupaito claims he had "no idea" his member was dealing drugs.

"People may think because they always see him with me that I know his business through and through but what people don't realize is that is only a small fraction of time and only when it comes to the mahi. So do I know what goes on behind his closed doors? Absolutely not." 

Fatupaitō admits that one of his members was in the wrong on this occasion. "Unfortunately, it was a sad situation, but once again he made a bad decision and it's up to him now to weather that out for himself and for his family."

Fatupaito says that, despite the positive work within the community that his chapter has done this year, it seems that the Police looked past that and they still targeted the chapter.

"We're solid in what we do. You know, they might be trying to put a little dent in the armour but we expect this sort of stuff. I believe that what we're doing is pono. We're not out there trying to impress anybody, we're just letting people know that the struggle is real on all levels, in all realms."

The two accused people will next appear in the Hamilton District Court on December 2.