BRADEN FASTIER / STUFF
The five men detained in an Armed Offenders Squad incident in Nelson have been released without charge.
Nelson Bays area commander Inspector Mat Arnold-Kelly said the police have repaired an object "similar to a firearm" and will conduct tests to see if it is an imitation or functional weapon.
It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time for the men who were being held on a firearm outside the Nelson Police Station on Wednesday.
An eyewitness said the police had pulled their weapons and yelled at the men to put their hands in the air and go on the floor before being handcuffed.
Matt Thornicroft said he saw six policemen with guns "that pointed to them from all directions".
He said he was walking past the police station on his way to Queen's Gardens when he heard the commotion.
"I heard the dogs go off, so I went upstairs to look.
"It was remarkable … the whole was pretty calm and well orchestrated, apart from the noise of the dogs, none of the [men] were resistant in any way. "
DAVID UNWIN / STUFF
The men were pulled from a white Community Corrections vehicle, which was parked directly in front of the Nelson Police Station.
The incident happened just before 15:00.
He said the men looked like young boys in their twenties.
Arnold-Kelly said they had received information that "there might be a firearm in a van".
"It was just like the team of armed robbers there at the station after having had a training day."
The team held the occupants down while they were looking for a firearm.
A Corrections spokesman confirmed that an item of interest was found this afternoon in the suitcase of a Community Corrections from Nelson.
Corrections helped the case, he said.
Frying Fastier / stuff