Abraham Wharewaka junior
TV One News story here
Father is Abraham Joseph Wharewaka Topia, President of Black Power
(currently serving time on methamphetamine charges along with Abe's brother Jake)
From Sunday Star Times Story April 29, 2005
The veteran Black Power gang leader Abraham Wharewaka's drug empire brought in well over $1 million a year, the Crown told a High Court sentencing yesterday. But police say the true amount earned by the president of the gang's Sindi chapter was four times that amount.
Outside the High Court in Auckland, Detective Constable Kevin McNaughton said the gang was taking $14,000 to $17,000 a day, 365 days a year.
"That is somewhere in the region of $4.5 million to $5 million a year."
Over the 3 1/2-year period of the charges, that added up to around $17.5 million. Justice David Baragwanath sentenced Wharewaka, 62, to eight years' jail with a minimum of three years and four months.
His brother and vice-president, Timothy Jake Wharewaka, 52, was sentenced to four years and nine months with a minimum two years' jail, and his son, Abraham Wharewaka, 38, was sentenced to 22 months.
Wharewaka senior's 22-year-old lover, Rania Mohsen Niazi, was sentenced to 14 months and granted leave to apply for home detention. Her sentence was deferred for two months.
Much of the revenue came from a tinny house in Albert St, Otahuhu, which was part of a housing complex that Wharewaka developed in the late 1970s with Government grants. Justice Baragwanath said Wharewaka received accolades and praise from the Prime Minister's Office at the time, as well as from senior police and other respected people, but he had squandered that good will. The judge said the complex was a visionary development, much to Wharewaka's credit.
But he misused the premises and used it for drug-selling. He was a man of extraordinary talents that had been applied for good but also for ill. Crown prosecutor Bruce Northwood said the cannabis operation was sophisticated, lucrative and persistent. The tinny house was the principal source of income. It was often raided by police, but was back in operation within hours.
Mr Northwood said police decided to mount an operation, code-named Soprano, to reach behind the young gang prospects or "shopkeepers" selling the drug and catch the leadership. When the operation was finally closed down, 10 customers approached undercover officers trying to buy drugs.
In one raid more than 400 tinnies were found ready for sale at $20 a time. Mr Northwood told the judge people living in the street were intimidated by the gang's presence. Defence counsel Peter Kaye said the methamphetamine in the charges against Wharewaka snr was for the group's personal use.
Justice Baragwanath said Wharewaka's position as charismatic leader of the gang meant others would be influenced and use the drug, which he referred to as a "blight". He accepted that Niazi, who had had a privileged upbringing, had been deeply in love with a most unusual and influential man and was dominated by him.
THE CONVICTIONS (Guilty pleas or findings of guilty)
Abraham Joseph Wharewaka (snr)
Making methamphetamine; selling cannabis; belonging to an organised criminal group; possession of cannabis for supply x 5; cultivating cannabis; possession of toluene for making methamphetamine; possession of equipment for manufacturing methamphetamine.
Rania Mohsen Niazi
Making methamphetamine; selling cannabis; possession of cannabis for supply x 5; participating in an organised criminal group.
Abraham Joseph Wharewaka (jnr)
Participating in an organised criminal group; possession of a loaded pistol.
Timothy Jake Wharewaka
Participating in an organised criminal group; selling cannabis.
Date of Birth
Abuse of his partner in 2003 - filmed himself committing the offence
Also other convictions for firearms and serious drugs charges
At large in Glen Innes Auckland
Joe Coleman (also know as Tom Coleman)
Abraham Joseph Wharewaka Topia (father)
Sentenced to 18 months in July 2006, already served time for a firearm offence
Released August 2006 at statutory release date
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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