NZ Herald nzherald.co.nz 30 Apr, 2021 08:00 am

'Impressive': Global watchdog rates NZ police efforts at seizing criminal wealth, advises software upgrade to identify money launderers

'Impressive': Global watchdog rates NZ police efforts at seizing criminal wealth, advises software upgrade to identify money launderers
Police seize $1b but shell companies and trusts expose NZ to organised crime, says report.

Photo / Supplied The New Zealand police force is among the world's best at seizing criminal profits but needs more sophisticated technology to analyse financial transactions and find new targets to investigate, according to an international report on money laundering.Yesterday, the Herald revealed that more than $1 billion in alleged criminal wealth has been frozen in New Zealand since a powerful law targeting organised crime came into effect just over a decade ago.3 billion is generated every year in New Zealand from criminal activity, mostly from the supply and distribution of methamphetamine and cocaine.On those figures, New Zealand is estimated to be restraining around 8 per cent of criminal proceeds annually, according to the FATF report, a rate that the taskforce described as "impressive".

The report, published on Thursday night, said that New Zealand was one of only four countries to achieve a "high level of effectiveness" in pursuing criminal proceeds, along with the US, Israel and Honduras.READ MORE: • Cops, cameras and crims: Video of gang's botched $1m drug deal • 'Easier to buy than milk': Emails to NZ's top cop led to downfall of Mob boss • Air NZ baggage handlers in lockdown meth bust • Shipping container linked to gang vanishes with help of port worker • The Head Hunters' $1m man in Tauranga • From Harley Davidson to wheelchair: Inside the downfall of Killer Beez boss • Gangs of New Zealand: Why gang numbers spiked by 50 per cent The FATF, founded by the G7 in 1989 to help clean up the international financial system, said that New Zealand is still vulnerable to money laundering despite its progress in recent years.

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