Police are following new leads in their search for Kiwi hip hop icon Scribe, who is wanted for drugs and weapons-related offences.
On Wednesday, police said they had a warrant for the arrest of Malo Ioane Luafutu, better known as Scribe, and urged the public not to approach him if they saw him.
Following the publicity, Inspector Glenn Nalder said police were following “new lines of inquiry”.
Luafutu was arrested in Phillipstown, Christchurch, on April 2. He was charged with possession of an offensive weapon, namely a bat, in Olliviers Rd, possession of the Class A drug amphetamine, and possession of a pipe for using amphetamine.
A warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear in the Christchurch District Court on July 25.
Christchurch police appealed on Facebook on Wednesday for sightings of the 38-year-old, who is also known as Jeshua Luafutu and Ioane Luafutu.
Anyone who saw him should not approach him and call 111, police said.
The post was later deleted, but Luafutu had not been found, a police spokesman said.
Police have been looking for Luafutu in both Christchurch and Wellington. He has family ties in both cities. Court documents list his home as a property in Titahi Bay, Wellington.
The day after his arrest, Scribe posted a photograph of his wedding day and vows on Instagram. Two weeks later, he posted a scenic image with the caption: “I never knew finding me, meant losing you.”
In March, the music star revealed he would spend the next three months in a rehabilitation unit, his “greatest and most hardest crusade ever”.
He wrote on Instagram about his struggles and planned admission to rehab, but said he was clean.
“Addiction is a symptom, not a choice for me . . . I’ve overcome many trials and tribulations by embracing the truth, no matter how humiliating or shameful it may be.
“I will be back a better and stronger me to take this world by storm.”
On April 26 the father-of-four posted “one step at a time… one day at a time. 3 weeks sober. No celebration just sayin”. Last month he said he knew “a thing or two about faith and the testing of one’s inner heart.”
“I like the impossible odds. I’ve been against them all my life. How else do miracles occur?”
In 2011, he told TV3 his family had “cut me off from money” to mitigate his problems, and his wild times had led to his girlfriend moving to Australia with their two children.
“If it wasn’t for my family and my kids I would still be caught in that rut . . . I’m much wiser, much stronger and I know how to handle things better.”
Every day was still a struggle, he said at the time.
Luafutu was 24 when he burst onto the New Zealand rap scene with the singles Not Many and Stand Up.
His debut album, Crusader, reached platinum sales five times (about 85,000 sales) in New Zealand and 100,000 in Australia after it was released in October 2003. His songs often discussed his struggle with fame and success, but not his addictions.
In 2008, Christchurch pawnbroker Shane Lilley took 11 of Luafutu’s awards as security for a personal loan. The rapper failed to repay the $5500 debt, and Lilley put four of the certificates marking Luafutu’s platinum sales on Trade Me.
In 2015, Luafutu put his life story on stage in the play The White Guitar, which also featured his brother and father. The play told the story of his history with gangs, homelessness and abuse.
His uncle, fellow musician Lino Luafutu, declined to comment on the whereabouts of his nephew on Wednesday.
Malo Luafutu is described as being 188 centimetres tall and of solid build. He has tattoos covering his left and right upper arms, as well as his shoulders.
Police said anyone who saw him should not approach him, but contact police immediately by calling 111.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact their local police station or can provide information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
This article first appeared on Stuff.co.nz. Read the original article here.