Government agencies work together on large-scale systematic fraud offending – Masala Restaurant Chain

National News
Yesterday,  Tuesday 28 February 2017 on application by the Commissioner of Police, the High Court made assets forfeiture orders of $8 million in respect of persons and companies associated with the former Masala chain of Indian restaurants.  In December 2015 the Commissioner of Police successfully sought restraining orders under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 in respect of various properties throughout Auckland, Northland, and the Waikato. The sum of $8 million will be met from the sale of restrained properties. 

Detective Sergeant Chris Allan of the Northern Asset Recovery Unit says “This forfeiture has recovered criminal proceeds from those involved in large-scale and systemic tax evasion and the consequent money laundering.  We are delighted with the outcome and the message it sends to the wider community.”

The outcome of the civil proceeding in the High Court highlights the success of a joint Government approach to removing the proceeds of crime from those who undertake or benefit from significant criminal activity.  New Zealand Police would like to acknowledge the assistance of Inland Revenue, Immigration New Zealand and the Labour Inspectorate.

Immigration NZ Area Manager Alistair Murray says the assets forfeiture orders show the great work being done by agencies working together.
“This is a fantastic result and shows what happens when agencies work together,” Mr Murray says.

In relation to Employment Relations Authority findings against the Masala chain of restaurants, Labour Inspectorate General Manager George Mason says anyone who breaches employment standards or exploits their workers can expect to face the combined and full effort of law enforcement.

“We will use every means at our disposal to ensure people do not profit from the exploitation of others.” Mr Mason says.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

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