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Unlicensed security company fined

Unlicensed security company fined

A security company has to pay $12,600 after it was convicted in the Auckland District Court today for operating without a licence.

Corporate Protection and Security International Limited (CPSI), of Sunnyvale, Auckland, pleaded not guilty to seven charges under the Private Security Personnel and Private Investigators Act. Judge David Wilson fined the company $1500 and costs of $300 on each charge.

Sean Michaels, also known as Seu Illai Taleni, 51 of Massey, was acquitted on a charge of not holding a certificate of approval (COA). The court found that on the day he had allegedly breached the Act he had not received a letter informing him that his certificate had been suspended by the Private Security Personnel Licensing Authority.

Internal Affairs told the court that Mr Michaels was the face of CPSI which supplied security services to the public. The staff he employed were often non New Zealand residents, typically visitors to the country on short-term visas. Mr Michaels did not obtain a licence for the company but held a COA until it was suspended on 2 May 2013. He maintained that he and his company were half owners of another licensed security company under whose umbrella he and his staff worked. An agreement to buy Stankovich Security and its licence was finalised in November 2013 – after CPSI’s offending.

The company, which has the right to appeal today’s decision, provided security and crowd control for events and premises between April and August 2013, including Wellington Fashion Week, an Auckland Showgrounds’ function, an Auckland hostel and a bar.

Internal Affairs General Manager Regulatory Services, Maarten Quivooy, said today’s convictions are a warning that the security industry must take licensing seriously:

“Trained, licensed private security personnel help New Zealanders to be safer at work and in their homes, and to participate in social and recreational events safely. The requirement for a licence is there to reassure the public that people working in these industries can be trusted by those businesses and by the public who need to rely on them.”

from July 2011 through to October 2013. His work has appeared in NZ in the Herald on Sunday, Dominion Post, Sunday Star-Times, the New Zealand Listener and Metro and in the USA in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, SF Weekly and the Boston Phoenix. He has a Masters of Science in Journalism from Boston University.


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