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Guns, artwork seized from Chrisco mansion in piracy crackdown

Expensive artworks and illegal firearms are among items seized following an early morning raid on the former Chrisco mansion.

The raid is part of a US-led crackdown on internet piracy.

Detective Inspector Grant Wornald of the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand said in a press conference this afternoon the 6:45am raids at three Auckland premises involved 76 officers.

Mr Wornald said elements of the Armed Offenders Squad were employed, and the principal address – the Chrisco mansion at Coatsville – presented a challenge to surround due to a sophisticated alarm system.

The raids were part of a US-led operation aimed at smashing file-sharing website Megaupload, and the websites founder and owner Kim Dotcom was one of four arrested in the operation.

A total of seven people have had provisional arrest warrants issued as part of the operation, but Mr Wornald said the remaining three were not in New Zealand.

Mr Wornald said two firearms, described as shotguns with barrels too short to be legal in New Zealand, were recovered. New Zealand law would classify the weapons as pistols.

Other items seized included computer equipment, expensive artworks, a number of expensive luxury automobiles and funds seized from financial institutions. The National Business Review understands these funds are comprised of about $10 million in government bonds.

Mr Wornald said four agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been in New Zealand for the past two weeks assisting police with the planning of the operation, but the FBI agents were not involved in the raids themselves.

Mr Wornald said no resistance was offered and four arrests were made, with the alleged criminals due to appear shortly in the North Shore District Court.

The former Chrisco mansion was the main target of the operation, but police also simultaneously raided a residential address in Orakei and a solicitor's office. 

More by Jock Anderson and Matt Nippert

Comments and questions
19

What are the legalities concerned on NZ police, following US directives, raiding a NZ solicitor's office? Especially as in what implications can such an ability have for client confidentiality and our own legal provisions regarding that?

What a joke - International crime king pin indeed. I can just see it...plod positively salivating at knocking over the mega mansion on tv and all with the aos as well. Cant wait to watch the breathless reports gushing the enormity and danger. Why didn't they just go and knock on the door? Cant imagine the geezer would need a armoured personnel carrier at the end of the road for 3x days like the real crims NZ breed & require.

Exactly

The NZ Police and Govt should have told the FBI to get Faarrked and sent a couple of constables to have a chat with the guy.

Talk about overkill - typical American crap and once again we got suckered into this nonsense

National security was at risk - the guys could have absconded with their laptops and cigarette lighters - all airports put on high alert

YEAH RIGHT

What a joke

once again we're slaves to the rythmn of that dying empire,america

Hey, boyz ... what about those Blackpowers in Wanganui?

Do we need to get the FBI in before you round some of them up?

Agreed - once again we're slaves to the rythmn of that dying Empire. Where exactly is JK's bread buttered?

who hasnt got a weapon amongst Auckland mansion owners?Is the length of the barrel really that important?

What a load of cr-p!!To have the FBI hanging around in NZ and these guys extradicted to the US is a f---ing joke!!Why aren't they tried in NZ courts,not crazy US justice.Would the US do the same with its citizens,of course not.This is a complete overkill,piracy,bull---t!!The yanks are the ultimate world bullies,why do we need to cravenly follow their stupidity??

Luckily the yanks weren't running the operation or there would have been casualties - not involving the offenders but probably amongst the FBI - normally happens with American operations - has done since the 2nd world war according to WW2 vets

One would hope that the USA authorities were paying for 76 officers services not the NZ taxpayer - for such an extravagant and unnecessary show of force to apprehend a few nerds

These guys arch criminals. Period.

First it was copyright infringements, then illegal firearms and lots of goodies, by tomorrow we might perhaps be told that Dotcom is in fact a follower of Islam & therefore automatically eligible for rendition to a nice little cosy waterboarding session somewhere...

And my taxes are paying for this ?

Where's that true David Lange Kiwi spirit when you need it ?

Warner Brothers sure got good mileage out of the Hobbit-actors union charade/rort/blackmail ruse .... indeed.

Skynet laws, interweb tube kingpins busted horrah henry (jon)

this is a joke alright.. 3 of my cousins work the security at the mansion, well *WORKED* the security at the mansion, and there is absolutely no need for 76 officers.. probably 2-3 would've been plenty.. or the local repo man!!.. hes not a bloody drug lord from Cuba.. this is like killing flies with a WW2 flame thrower!!.. nicely done John Key.. you're the man alright!

Still bulk places to get movies for free ffs go round up some granny killing, dairy robbing bay murderers if your looking for somrthing to do NZ police, but no they wont

Anyone watch Close up last night? Paedophiles stalking young girls in Auckland and a comment that Police don't have enough resources to target them. But 80 Keystone cops and 2 helicopters are available to scare a pregnant woman & to arrest 4 computer nerds! A total overreaction and a bad use of Police resources!!!

He's going to be indicted! Indicted, Jane! INDICTED! HE'S GOING TO BE INDICTED!

It is a relief to hear that no resistance was offered, since a gunfight could have broken out as there were guns around. I guess the agents did a good job of planning the attack, and that can often make the difference between a foiled attempt or a successful one. Great job.

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