New Zealand police have seized assets linked to a 40-years-old man (from Auckland, New Zealand) suspected of laundering millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. The Auckland District Court has charged the person for money laundering involving cryptocurrencies.
As per the report, the defendant has been granted an interim anonymity after he managed to appear at the Auckland District Court on Thursday, 15 October; therefore, his details remain unknown. The court served the man with 30 different charges, all of which pointed towards his involvement in purchases of luxury goods, money laundering, and dubious cryptocurrency transactions.
The culprit is alleged to have obtained thousands of New Zealand dollars to purchase cryptocurrency and gain profits through money laundering.
According to legal documents, the man has been involved in laundering huge amounts of money, facilitating some of them through cryptocurrencies. The defendant also assisted other individuals in laundering funds, as he obtained thousands of dollars to purchase cryptocurrencies. Other charges allege that the defendant laundered most of the funds by purchasing high-end vehicles, including about NZ$288,888 (US$191,919) for a Mercedes G63 and NZ$421,000 (US$279,687) for a Lamborghini.
Besides purchasing luxurious cars, the defended is alleged to have used NZ$1.7 million (US$1.12 million) to launder money via buying a property in East Auckland property.
During the earlier months of this year, the man is also reported to have laundered money obtained from an individual at Auckland airport, as well as receiving more than one million dollars from a banking institution using a false identity.
Since the man faced the charges yesterday October 15, he is expected to appear for the next court hearing in November. Besides the incident, an estimate of five other individuals were also arrested and charged for money laundering involvements. The arrest and charges come as a result of an asset-seizure operations popularly identified “Operation Brookings,” in which the police officers conducted numerous search warrants. The operations have led to the seizure of three proprieties and seven high-end luxury vehicles worth about $3.3 million (US$2.19 million) in total.
New Zealand Police Embrace International Efforts
The New Zealand police have been conducting massive bust as part of the global investigations into fraudulent cryptocurrency exchanges. They have been working closely with the U.S authorities to address such serious offending.
In June, the New Zealand police seized about NZ$140 million (US$90.08 million) from the bank accounts controlled by a Russian man Alexander Vinnik. The police seized the assets as they were being held by Canton Business Corporation, a New Zealand company owned by Vinnik, who was accused of facilitating cryptocurrency laundering and was wanted by both the United States and France. This was the largest money-laundering bust that the New Zealand police have successfully made in the country.
Ill-gotten funds are profits gained from the victimization of thousands of people across the world as a result of organized crime and cyber-crime. New Zealand, therefore, has demonstrated that it is not a place for criminals to try to hide illicit income.