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

 

Wine: 20% Of Marlborough Storage Tanks Damaged By Quake

An estimated 20 percent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country’s largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. More>>

ALSO:

ACC: Levy Recommendations For 2017 – 2019 Period

• For car owners, a 13% reduction in the average Motor Vehicle levy • For businesses, a 10% reduction in the average Work levy, and changes to workplace safety incentive products • For employees, due to an increase in claims volumes and costs, a 3% increase in the Earners’ levy. More>>

Women's Affairs: Government Accepts Recommendations On Pay Equity

The Government will update the Equal Pay Act and amend the Employment Relations Act to implement recommendations of the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Increase In Seasonal Workers For RSE

The current cap will be increased by 1,000 from 9,500 to 10,500 RSE workers for the 2016-17 season. Mr Woodhouse says the horticulture and viticulture industry is New Zealand’s fourth largest export industry, producing almost $5 billion in exports. More>>

ALSO:

Hurunui: Crown Irrigation Invests Up To $3.4m In North Canterbury

Crown Irrigation Investments will invest up to $3.4m in the Hurunui Water Project, an irrigation scheme that will be capable of irrigating up to 21,000 hectares on the south side of the Hurunui River in North Canterbury. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Great:Butterfly Eradication Success

The invasive pest great white butterfly has been eradicated from New Zealand in a world-first achievement, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry say. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Government’s Tax Cuts Fixation

Long before the earthquake hit, the dodginess of the government tax cuts programnme was evident in the language of its packaging. It is being touted as a “tax cuts and family care” package... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news