SFO’s Auckland property probe still progressing

'It's the nature of our investigations to take a little while ...'

Last October the Serious Fraud Office confirmed it had launched an investigation into fraud in the Auckland property market.

The agency stated in its 2015 annual report that “Auckland’s property market and the scale of impending commercial developments represent a key environmental risk” and it has “invested significant resources into investigating a large-scale mortgage fraud” in that sector.

The allegations the SFO is evaluating involve collusion between “highly organised teams of property developers, shell company directors, property valuers and lawyers,” but it declined to comment further on the basis that the investigation was under way.

Three months later, the song remains the same.

When asked about the status of the Auckland mortgage fraud probe, an apologetic SFO spokeswoman told NBR that “I’m afraid I can’t give any update on that investigation apart from informing you that it is still going.

“It’s the nature of our investigations to take a little while, so that is all I can report.”