Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Auckland Woman Sentenced For Tobacco Smuggling

Auckland woman Hua Yi Zhu was sentenced at the Auckland District Court today to three years for defrauding Customs of tobacco revenue.

Zhu, 50, was sentenced for her role in smuggling 19,419,400 cigarettes and revenue fraud of more than $18.7m in tobacco revenue spanning a four-year period. Zhu’s sentencing marks the successful completion of Operation Whitethorn, a Customs investigation into a long-running tobacco smuggling enterprise.

Operation Whitethorn began in 2018 when Zhu’s husband Yu Zhi Hu was identified supplying large amounts of cigarettes to wholesale purchasers. In March 2020, Hu was sentenced to five years and three months’ imprisonment for smuggling cigarettes in shipping containers from China, using their legitimate furniture business as cover.

Operation Whitethorn has involved Customs officers using surveillance, detailed analysis of trade and financial data, cargo examinations and search warrants to uncover the multi-million dollar fraud, locating $4.15m in cash at three Auckland addresses.

Customs also partnered with the Police’s Asset Recovery Unit to seize over $5.5m in cash, bank accounts, property and vehicles as a result.

Cam Moore, Customs Investigations Manager, welcomed today’s sentencing, saying: “This is the latest conviction in a string of successful Customs investigations into large-scale illicit tobacco and money laundering.

“Operation Whitethorn has been the largest ever cigarette smuggling operation in recent Customs and New Zealand history.

“This final sentencing shows that Customs will take every effort to disrupt the illicit trade in cigarettes and seize criminal proceeds. We are fully focussed on disrupting and dismantling criminal networks in the tobacco black market.”

If you have suspicions about someone involved in illegal smuggling, call 0800 WE PROTECT (0800 937 768) or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Budget 2022


At base, the political biffo back and forth on the merits of Budget 2022 comes down to only one thing. Who is the better manager of the economy and better steward of social wellbeing – National or Labour? In its own quiet way, the Treasury has buried a fascinating answer to the “who’s best at running an economy during a crisis?” question, at page 57 of the Fiscal Strategy section...
More>>



 
 

Government: Helps Supermarket Shoppers Get A Fair Deal
Urgent Budget night legislation to stop major supermarkets blocking competitors from accessing land for new stores has been introduced today, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said... More>>


Budget 2022: A Secure Future In Difficult Times
Budget 2022 will help build a high wage, low emissions economy that provides greater economic security, while providing support to households affected by cost of living pressures... More>>

ALSO:

Budget: Climate Investments Provide Path To Economic Security
The Government is investing in New Zealand’s economic security by ensuring climate change funding moves away from short-term piecemeal responses and towards smart, long-term investment... More>>

ALSO:



National: Jacqui Dean To Retire From Parliament In 2023

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has announced that she will not be seeking re-election at the 2023 election. “I have advised the President and Leader of the National Party that I have decided not to put my name forward... More>>

Classification Office: Following Decision To Ban Manifesto The Buffalo Mass Shooting Livestream Is Now Banned
The livestream video of yesterday’s mass shooting in the United States has now been banned, Acting Chief Censor Rupert Ablett-Hampson announced this morning. The decision follows on from his decision yesterday to call in and ban the ‘manifesto... More>>

Borders: New Zealand Poised To Welcome International Students Back
New Zealand is fully reopening to international students and the Government is committed to help reinvigorate and strengthen the sector, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels