Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


SFO confirms preliminary Zespri investigation

SFO confirms preliminary Zespri investigation

Oct. 22 (BusinessDesk) - The Serious Fraud Office has confirmed it’s looking at legislated export marketing monopolist Zespri International, though is being tight-lipped on any further details.

The white-collar crime investigator has opened a preliminary investigation, but won’t say what it’s looking at or indicating what powers the SFO has to compel Zespri to release information.

“Zespri has not been contacted by the Serious Fraud Office and has no details of the scope or substance of an investigation,” it said in an emailed statement. “Zespri will cooperate with any investigation the Serious Fraud Office may undertake.”

The investigation comes in a year when a Zespri subsidiary was found guilty of being an accessory to under-declaring customs duties by a Chinese court, which fined the unit $960,000, sentenced its employee to five years imprisonment, and ruled gains of some $11.6 million should be repaid. It lost an appeal of the ruling in July.

In a July interview with TVNZ’s Q&A programme, Zespri chief executive Lain Jager said there was corruption and fraud involved in the case, but that it wasn’t Zespri.

“There are things we could have done better, but we’re not corrupt,” Jager told Q&A in July.

During the Q&A interview Jager said he had no knowledge or seen any suggestion that bribery was involved.

An OECD report released last week slated New Zealand’s efforts to implement a convention on anti-bribery efforts, saying since the nation became a party to the convention in 2001 it hadn’t prosecuted any foreign bribery cases, and only four allegations surfaced.

“In July 2013, the SFO opened its second investigation into possible foreign bribery related to a fraud investigation involving a New Zealand company,” the OECD report said. “The allegation relates to the payment of bribes over a number of years by the company to officials in an Asian country in order to secure access to markets.”

The white-collar crime investigator launched the probe bad on a newspaper report, and at the time of the OECD report’s publication was still at the investigation stage.

In July, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers launched an the second part of an inquiry assessing the impact of the Chinese legal action on Zespri’s brand to investigate what happened during the under-declaring of customs duties. The findings are expected to be released to growers later this year.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Insurers Up For More Payouts: Chch Property Investor Wins Policy Appeal In Supreme Court

Ridgecrest NZ, a property investor, has won an appeal in the Supreme Court over insurance cover provided by IAG New Zealand for a Christchurch building damaged in four successive earthquakes. More>>

ALSO:

Other Cases:

Royal Society: Review Finds Community Water Fluoridation Safe And Effective

A review of the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies has found that the levels of fluoridation used in New Zealand create no health risks and provide protection against tooth decay. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Croxley Calls Time On NZ Production In Face Of Cheap Imports

Croxley Stationery, whose stationery brands include Olympic, Warwick and Collins, plans to cease manufacturing in New Zealand because it has struggled to compete with lower-cost imports in a market where the printed word is giving way to electronic communications. More>>

ALSO:

Prefu Roundup: Forecasts Revised, Surplus Intact

The National government heads into the election with its Budget surplus target broadly intact, delivering a set of economic and fiscal forecasts marginally revised from May to reflect weaker commodity prices and a lower tax take. More>>

ALSO:

Convention Centre: Major New SkyCity Hotel And Laneway For Auckland

Today SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited revealed plans to build a new hotel and pedestrian laneway of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping on land it owns in the Nelson and Hobson Streets block, expanding the SKYCITY Entertainment Precinct. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news