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Police have arrested six people and seized millions in assets after raids in Auckland today.
Three properties and luxury vehicles – including a $450,000 Lamborghini Huracan, a $280,000 Mercedes G wagon and a Rayglass boat – were seized by police.
The arrests are the result of an ongoing investigation by the Financial Crime Group into money laundering activity.
Detective Superintendent Iain Chapman said investigators targeted professional facilitators that allowed organised crime to take place.
The investigators had operated throughout the various Covid-19 alert levels.
Chapman said he was proud of the investigation team who delivered what he called a “significant blow” to this organised crime effort.
“We want New Zealand to be the safest country and our part of play there is by making New Zealand the hardest place for criminals to do business.
“The action today is going to send a really clear message.”
Organised crime groups come in all shapes and sizes in New Zealand, he said.
They had previously focused on groups like the Comancheros in operations like Operation Nova, he said.
That had significantly dented their foothold in New Zealand, he said.
“This group today was a professional money laundering service.”
They used semi-legitimate businesses that would remit funds, he said.
A significant amount of money going overseas went to China, he said.
Chapman believed they had taken the group by surprise.
“We were certainly out of bed before they were.”
Assets were seized in Te Atatū, Half Moon By and New Lynn, he said.
Most of those arrested will be appearing in Auckland District Court tomorrow, on a range of money laundering, drug and fraud charges, he said.
A lot of the profits laundered into the system were generated by drugs, he said.
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