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Police won't say if they paid to recover stolen guns

The police won't say if they paid to get back the eight guns recovered after 11 were stolen from a Palmerston North Police station last month.

And Police Minister Stuart Nash says he has no plans to ask the police if this was indeed the case.

National MP Chris Bishop today alleged the police had paid to get the guns back into their possession.

"National understands that to get back eight of the 11 guns that were stolen from [the] Palmerston North Police Station, police had to pay to get them back."

Speaking to media outside of the House, Bishop said he had information that he believed to be credible which proved the guns were bought back by police.

National would not, however, share that information with The Herald.

The accusation was put to the police and a spokesperson said: "Central District Police remains very focused on recovering the three outstanding firearms, but we will not discuss specific matters relating to the ongoing investigation.

"We continue to appeal to the public for any information which can assist us."

Direct questions as to whether or not the police paid to get the eight guns back where not answered.

"The question for Stuart Nash is, has his gun buyback scheme started by paying criminals to return those guns to the police?" Bishop asked.

In the House today, Nash would not confirm or deny that the guns had been bought back by the police.

"I'm not going to provide a running commentary on the day-to-day operations of a police investigation. I am sure that police will provide updates as and when appropriate," he said.

When pressed again, he said: "Like previous Ministers of Police, I do not receive advice that would prejudice an active case."

It was a similar story when speaking to media outside the House.

"The police investigate many, many serious crimes every single day of the week," he said.

"I do not get advice on their progress at all – and I refuse to provide a running commentary on it," he said and added it was an "operational matter".

He said he had not, and would not, ask the police if they had paid to get the guns back. He said he didn't need to ask.

"I expect the police to do whatever they need to do, from an operational perspective, to clean this mess up."

He said it would be up to police to make the decision as to whether or not they would buy the guns back.

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