Grabbed and smashed avocados

Gangs in New Zealand seem to have as tight a hold on parts of society as ever. But, the gangs are finding it harder and harder these days. First, the anti-money laundering regulations make it almost impossible to do anything with large amounts of cash except keep it under the mattress. This is not much use as most organised criminals want to use the cash to set themselves up for life. Then, it seems to be only a matter of time before marijuana is legalised, or at least decriminalised, and that will mark the end of a huge source of income for them. Sure, there are still the harder drugs, such as meth and cocaine, but meth is often manufactured by small operators, and cocaine is big money but out of the reach of most addicts.

Gangs are very versatile, though. They have to be one step ahead of the markets. They have a few other possibilities on their horizon where they could make a buck or two. First of all, there is tobacco, and gangs are behind a lot of the violent robberies of dairies, taking their entire stocks of cigarettes. But, dairy owners are fighting back, and so the gangs have had to come up with some other entrepreneurial ideas.

The latest contraband is avocados.

Digital image. Credit: Lushington Brady

Gangs being the way they are, sometimes it gets violent.  Stuff reports: Quote:

The terrifying moments that an avocado thief rammed a police car and narrowly missed two officers was captured on CCTV footage.

The incident, caught on a security camera at an orchard near Gisborne, was the genesis of a dangerous rampage by a 19-year-old man involving arson, road spikes, dangerous driving and assaults over several hours and 130 kilometres. End quote.

You can see how desperate this has become. If stealing avocados results in assaults and arson, they are obviously up there with diamonds and black pearls. Quote:

It all began at about 5.15am on November 10 last year, when Reedy drove a mate’s Honda Odyssey onto an avocado orchard at Mataraka, Gisborne.

Reedy’s mate began filling the car up with avocados before the orchard owner, who was woken by a sensor alarm, called police. Two constables arrived and parked their car in front of the Odyssey, blocking it in.

Reedy’s mate scarpered by foot and was arrested a few kilometres away.

When one of the constables approached the Odyssey Reedy drove directly at her. He narrowly missed hitting her before colliding with the police car then speeding towards the other officer, who had to jump into a drain to avoid being hit.

He drove along SH2 toward the township of Ormond, about 20km inland of Gisborne. His driving was so dangerous that a couple called police and began following him and filming him as he continued to speed and swerve onto the wrong side of the road. It was still dark and he did not have his lights on.

Rubber began coming off one of the Odyssey’s tyres and Reedy stopped the car in his lane then got out.

The couple, who stopped 50 metres behind him, noticed a flame in the Odyssey’s dashboard. They saw Reedy open a wallet and throw items into the fire, which then consumed the car. End quote.

Getting rid of the evidence. Watch out for hot avocados going cheap on the market in Gisborne. They may not be all that good.

There is now such a black market for avocados that the gangs are out to profit from it. I must say that, when I think of gangs, this isn’t the sort of horticulture that usually comes to mind.

Because millennials cannot live without their smashed avocado on toast, there is an extreme shortage. Prices have soared, and it is rumoured that young couples are blowing the house deposit on smashed avocados for brunch. Truly terrible times.

I was in a new cafe, The Green Speakeasy in Waikanae, where I noticed patrons passing through a door at the back of the cafe into a private area. I’m not sure what they were doing, but they were vetted and patted down before entry. Security is quite tight. I wonder what they are doing in there?

Anyway, back in Wellington, at the local gang headquarters, apparently they tuck into avocado with prawns and mung beans on a regular basis, washed down with a glass of Central Otago Pinot Noir, which goes very well with the nuttier flavoured avocados. Those who are not really wine drinkers are resorting to either lemon-flavoured vodka (the delicacy of the lemon adds that little bit of zest to the avocado) or, for the non-drinkers, the musky spiciness of Darjeeling tea often works well.

Contraband at Gang Headquarters, Wellington

The avocados stolen from Gisborne had been thrown around a bit in the car, so the gang’s next venture is to go into ready-smashed avocados. That will be a fantastic success with the cafes and restaurants, and a definite time saver.

And the cooked ones? There really is no end of ingenuity with these people. They have branded their own recipe for guacamole, which is a little darker in colour than usual. But, no problem, as they have simply added lots of chilli. You will find it in the supermarket under the label ‘Mongrel Guac’. The product byline is ‘The blacker, the better.” Very trendy.

I hear that the gangs are enjoying their new horticultural activities so much that they are looking to expand into kale and mung beans. Avocado trees take a long time to mature so, for now, they will just continue to steal those from growers. Kale and mung beans take much less time to grow. At the moment they are looking for suitable land to start the venture, but as they are unable to use their cash stores to purchase land, because no lawyer will touch them with a ten-foot pole, talks have commenced with Treaty negotiators about a suitable site to be gifted to them. Details will be finalised soon.

All joking aside, avocado thefts are a real issue. If any of you out there are avocado growers, absolutely no offence is intended. It is hard enough making a living without this sort of thing. Still, it is an unusual concept. Once marijuana is legalised, horticulturists will be growing it by the hectare, while the gangs grow avocados. It really is a crazy world we live in.

 


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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