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Police Welcome New Crime Agency & Powers

Police Welcome New Crime Agency & Powers

New Zealand Police National


2 April 2008

Police have welcomed the release of the Government's organised crime strategy with detailed proposals on the establishment of an organised crime agency.

NZ Police Deputy Commissioner Operations Rob Pope says the strategy and the establishment of the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand (OFCANZ) are significant steps in the ongoing battle against serious, organised and financial crime.

He says OFCANZ will work to combat serious and organised crime, including serious fraud, through a range of inter-agency operations and taskforces.

It will involve law enforcement, intelligence, border agencies (Customs, MAF, Immigration), regulatory and financial authorities and a range of government departments, he says.

"OFCANZ will also work in close liaison with overseas intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

"It will be hosted within NZ Police, and will work collaboratively across agencies, departments and Police service units."

Mr Pope says Police look forward to incorporating the significant capability and experience of the Serious Fraud Office into the activities of OFCANZ.

"The SFO staff will build on existing capability and bring a range of new expertise to focus on organised crime, as well as serious financial crime.

Mr Pope says the proposed legislative reforms announced by the Minister of Justice will further assist Police and other agencies by modernising the laws and powers officers have to deal with organised and financial crime.

"Criminals are using increasingly sophisticated networks and transactions to commit crime and conceal their activities. The proposed legislative reforms will give us improved capability to track their activities and to more effectively disrupt their activities and prosecute them."

Mr Pope says Police have put together a small establishment team to develop the operating framework and approach for OFCANZ, in consultation with other agencies.

He says the agency will be operationally driven, targeting the top end of organised and financial crime. It will focus on the disruption of organised and serious financial crime using the full range of measures from asset seizure, and prosecution, through to deportation.

OFCANZ will operate a range of taskforces with staffing and support drawn from a cross section of Government and - where appropriate - international agencies.

ENDS


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