Millions forfeited after investigation into fraudulent scheme

New Zealand Police has successfully petitioned the High Court for the forfeiture of more than $2 million under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act, following an investigation into funds held in New Zealand by a Malaysian national.

An investigation determined to be related to a fraudulent scheme run in Malaysia - the VenusFX scheme.

An amount of about $2.2 million had been formerly held in two New Zealand bank accounts, until it was restrained by Police in April 2020.

In a judgment released on 2 November, the Court determined there were reasonable grounds to believe the money was the proceeds of crime and had been sent to New Zealand for laundering purposes.

Detective Inspector Craig Hamilton, Manager Asset Recovery/Money Laundering, says this judgment sends a strong message to overseas criminals considering New Zealand an option for money laundering.

"The New Zealand anti-money-laundering system is designed to identify proceeds of crime, and when we do identify suspicious funds we act.

"In this case, New Zealand asset recovery investigators worked with counterparts in Malaysia, and we acknowledge their partnership in bringing this matter to a conclusion.

"This is yet another great example of countries working together to find and recover proceeds of crime.

"Criminals around the world need to learn that New Zealand is not a safe place to send proceeds of illegal activity - if you send illicit funds here we will find them and confiscate them."

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