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Billionaire's Price of Freedom $50,000 - Police

A drug importing billionare paid around $50,000 to the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation centre as a donation, substantially more than Scoop earlier reported.

Estimates of the amount of money the billionaire paid as a donation to the drug clinic varied wildly when Scoop made enquiries yesterday. This morning police confirmed the actual amount paid at around $50,000.

The billionaire flew out of New Zealand on Wednesday after being discharged without conviction after being caught importing 103 grams of hashish and cannabis leaf into the country through Auckland airport.

Conditions of his discharge without conviction were that he leave the country by Wednesday and that he donate money to the centre.

Speaking to Scoop today Sergeant Pete Syddall said he understood the donation the billionaire made to the clinic to be “around $50,000.

As the donation was voluntary and not a court order, the amount would not appear on the court records, he said.

Police are considering appealing the decision, and plan to issue a statement soon. Police are understood to be unhappy with Judge David Harvey’s original decision to discharge the man without conviction.

“The amount might seem large but considering the guy is a billionaire to say that he got off lightly is a gross understatement” police sources said.

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