13 December 2002
New Zealand First Law and order spokesperson Ron Mark MP is asking the Minister for Inland Revenue what he intends doing about beneficiary fraudsters who run million dollar businesses and still collect benefits.
China-born Zhang Yuan Da and his wife, Zhoung Hui Hong, 44, were jailed yesterday for their part in a paua smuggling ring, earning themselves vast sums which were siphoned through a New Zealand bank account, while they were collecting a benefit.
“This is quite clearly a case of benefit fraud yet nothing was done by Inland Revenue to alert Work and Income of this. We know the IRD received withholding tax from the bank accounts of this paua pilfering pair, and received from Work and Income tax deducted from their benefits,” said Mr Mark.
“How much more evidence do the IRD need before they feel the need to alert Work and Income or the police? They hold consolidated files on these people and were fully aware of their financial situation.
“If it becomes known by overseas crime rings how easy it is to commit benefit fraud here then we have an even worse problem on our hands.
”My question to the Minister is, why were Work and Income not alerted to the fraud and how many more are out there that you know about? said Mr Mark.