Criminal asset seizures worth $382 million

More than 200 cars, nearly 100 motorcycles, 110 residential properties and 485 bank accounts make up the approximately $382 million worth of assets seized by police since late 2009.

The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act enables police to seize assets believed to be the proceeds of crime, with or without a conviction.

Since it came into effect, $382 million worth of assets has been restrained (which means the police hold on to it during an investigation), while $85 million has been forfeited altogether. The funds recovered are used to fund law enforcement initiatives.

Police Minister Judith Collins says police have been “extremely successful” in investigating and seizing the “dirty money” of criminals and gangs since the legislation was introduced.

About 96% of forfeitures and 86% of restraints are linked to drugs and organised crime.

“Criminals and gangs are making millions of dollars a year peddling drugs and committing crimes.”

In February, it was revealed police had restrained nearly $34 million, including 33 residential of commercial properties, from entities linked to the Masala Indian restaurant chain, in what is believed to be the country’s single-biggest asset restraint order.

The group is accused of “significant criminal activity,” including the “widespread and systemic” tax evasion of more than $7.4 million.

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