Hong Kong triads are working with some of New Zealand's most notorious crime gangs to cash in on the country's growing methamphetamine business. Organised crime groups the 14K, Sun Yee On, Water Room, and Big Circle Gang all have a presence in the country and most recently gangsters from Fujian have become prominent. They work with New Zealand's most powerful organised crime groups, the Headhunters and Hells Angels, buying and selling the addictive hyper-stimulant. Police in New Zealand say indigenous gangs saw the profits to be made from methamphetamine and realised they needed contacts to buy the drug, or its main ingredient, pseudoephedrine, from a source country like the mainland. Quickly, Asian organised crime groups became crucial players in the drug trade and over time their international links made them the real power brokers. 'Commodity is power,' Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Cahill, of the Auckland Metro Crime Squad told The New Zealand Herald. 'The Asians have the commodity. So they have control.' New Zealand police say Hong Kong's 14K gang is the most powerful Asian crime group in the country. 'The money is on another scale. For police, it's the money in the Asian crime that has stunned us,' Cahill said. 'Young guys driving around in NZ$100,000 (HK$564,000) cars, 18- to 22-year-olds with NZ$20,000 cash in their pockets. An apartment with NZ$1 million in it. That sort of money.' The indigenous and incoming criminal groups work together as one network in the best interests of business. 'There's plenty of business to go around. No one is fighting over territory, it's bad for business. Nothing attracts more attention than violent crime,' Cahill said. Hong Kong is one of the many Asian ports from which methamphetamine or Contac NT is shipped to New Zealand. Contac NT is an over-the-counter flu medication on the mainland but is a controlled drug in New Zealand, because it contains pseudoephedrine, which can be extracted to make methamphetamine. The triads organise the shipments in Hong Kong (or the mainland), often hidden inside large shipping containers, which are freighted to New Zealand. Hundreds of kilograms of meth or Contac NT are smuggled in sacks of cement, and often in tins of paint. Last month, New Zealand customs broke up a drug ring that smuggled up to NZ$17 million (HK$97 million) worth of pseudoephedrine, which arrived over 12 months at Auckland International Airport in machine parts imported from Hong Kong. A court in the country heard that a company called EJ Trading imported 145kg of machinery parts, with 10kg of drugs hidden inside each part. Records show EJ Trading imported 28 shipments between April last year and April this year. Auckland police allege 320kg of pseudoephedrine was smuggled. New Zealand police still have an Asian Crime Unit, but it is used mainly in an intelligence-gathering capacity. It works closely with Auckland Metro Crime and Operations Support and the Organised and Financial Crime Agency NZ squads. However, though arrests have been made the bigger players remain free, probably overseas. 'We're not naive enough to think that we understand the problem,' Cahill said. 'I am sure that there are much bigger players that we will arrest in the future.' Neither the Hong Kong police nor the Customs and Excise Department would say whether they were aware of the situation. They would only say that they were working with counterparts to fight trafficking of drugs and precursor chemicals for making drugs. 'Stringent and timely enforcement actions are taken to interdict drug crime,' a Customs and Excise spokesman said. Despite a belief to the contrary in New Zealand, the spokesman said: 'There is no evidence that the pseudoephedrine concerned was imported from Hong Kong.' Gangland connections between Hong Kong and New Zealand's gangs go back almost 20 years. In 1996 Ricky Yan Siu-ho was named by New Zealand police as the head of the country's 14K triad group and as a co-conspirator in a plot to kill an anti-triad detective. It was claimed by a New Zealand parliamentary select committee that, as 'leader' of the 14K, Yan conspired to kill Wellington Asian Crime Unit Sergeant Api Fiso with leaders of New Zealand's infamous Mongrel Mob. He was arrested but never charged with any offence. New Zealand police believe a notorious 14K boss known as 'Nine-Finger Wah' is involved in drug operations there. He has been on the run since he was charged with five other men in connection with the murder and dismemberment of Lai King-man, 60, nicknamed 'Police Man'.