Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Investigative journalists find suspicious foreign trusts

Investigative journalists find suspicious foreign trusts in New Zealand

New Zealand remains vulnerable to the flow of illicit offshore assets. An Auckland company is caught up in an international money laundering controversy after it was identified helping to manage a network of New Zealand-registered companies and trusts for its secret clients.

The Daphne Project -a team of 46 journalists from 18 news organizations including Radio New Zealand (RNZ) - is pursuing the work of murdered Maltese journalist-blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia. Galizia was reporting on Maltese government corruption and Azerbaijan-linked money laundering when she was killed by a car bomb on 16 October 2017. (See Global shockwaves from bombing of Maltese journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia.)

In an article published by RNZ yesterday, Auckland based wealth management firm Denton Morrell is identified as the parent and controlling entity of a number of Azerbaijan linked companies holding millions of dollars of foreign property assets for hidden owners.

Denton Morrell is owned and managed by Matthew Butterfield. According to the article:
"(Butterfield) initially headed a company called Allianza, where he took over managing a set of high value offshore clients from a company called Equinor Trust. According to Interest.co.nz, the trust's executive director Lachlan Williams told the Reserve Bank it specialised in New Zealand foreign trusts for high net worth families. It managed "almost 150 trusts" with assets "conservatively" worth more than 5 billion euros."

A Google search reveals another iteration: Denton Morrell (USA) LLC, a legal entity registered under the law of State Nevada managed by one person, Matthew J Butterfield.

"This article is striking. The amount of money involved and the newness of this activity are a strong signal that more needs to be done to prevent New Zealand trusts and companies from laundering foreign assets acquired under suspicious circumstances. We are left wondering just how much corrupt wealth is sheltered through New Zealand," says Suzanne Snively, Chair of Transparency International New Zealand.

Snively adds "The work of The Daphne Project highlights the value and need for a public repository of the overseas beneficial owners of assets registered in New Zealand for all legal entities."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Retail: Post-Lockdown Retail Card Spending Picks Up

The rise in retail card spending was boosted by sales of furniture, hardware, and appliances, Stats NZ said today. “For a third consecutive month, card spending on the long-lasting goods (durables) remained at higher levels than last year, after ... More>>


Contact: Business Drops, New Generation On Hold

New Zealand’s second-largest energy company Contact Energy (‘Contact’) released its full year financial results for the 12 months to 30 June 2020 (‘FY20’) this morning. More>>

Mining: OceanaGold Announces Receipt Of WKP Mining Permit

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - OceanaGold Corporation (TSX: OGC) (ASX: OGC) (the 'Company') is pleased to announce it has received the mining permit for Wharekirauponga ('WKP') on the North Island of New Zealand. ... More>>

ALSO:

Economy: COVID-19 Lockdown Has Widespread Effects On Labour Market

In the June 2020 quarter, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent last quarter, while underutilisation rose, Stats NZ said today. More>>

ALSO:

NZ Post: New Research By NZ Post Shows Online Shopping Grew 105% In Alert Level 3

New research by NZ Post into how the COVID-19 response has impacted the way Kiwis shop online, shows online shopping increased 105%* when the country moved into Alert Level 3, and may have changed the way Kiwis shop permanently. Online spend peaked ... More>>

ALSO:

Banking: Westpac NZ Lowers Merchant Fees For Small Businesses

Westpac NZ is rolling out a new merchant fee pricing structure that will lead to cost savings for more than 10,000 small and medium Kiwi businesses, and could make contactless transactions more widely available for customers. On 1 September, most ... More>>

Antarctica NZ: Ice-Olation

Antarctica New Zealand is gearing up for a much reduced season on the ice this year and a very different deployment to normal! Before they head to one of the remotest places on the planet, all personnel flying south with the New Zealand programme will ... More>>

ALSO:

QV Valuations: July House Price Index Illustrates Market Resilience

According to the July 2020 QV House Price Index (HPI) results out today , property values recorded a marginal increase, up 0.2% over the month. This is somewhat of a turnaround from June, after the national index edged 0.2% lower. More>>

ALSO:

Property: Queenstown Rents Experience Biggest Drop In Seven Years

Rental prices in the Queenstown-Lakes district saw the biggest annual percentage drop in seven years after falling 28 per cent on June last year, according to the latest Trade Me Rental Price Index. Trade Me Property spokesperson Aaron Clancy said ... More>>

Seismology: The Quiet Earth

As many daily activities came to a halt during lockdown, the Earth itself became quiet, probably quieter than it has been since humans developed the technology to listen in. Seismologists have analysed datasets from more than 300 international ... More>>

RNZ: James Shaw Says Kiwibank, Not Ministers Should Decide On Investors

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says Kiwibank's decision to stop doing business with companies dealing in fossil fuels is the right one. More>>

ALSO:

FMA: Kiwis Confident Financial Markets Will Recover From COVID-19, Plan To Increase Investments

Despite the majority (60%) of investors experiencing losses as a result of COVID-19, the outlook on investing remains positive, according to a Financial Markets Authority (FMA) survey. Most Kiwis (71%) were optimistic that the pandemic will pass eventually ... More>>

FIRST Union: Warehouse Using Covid For Cover As Extensive Restructure Makes Everyone Worse Off

(FIRST Union comments on The Warehouse consultation and proposed restructure) 'Unfortunately the Warehouse have done the disappointing thing and used Covid-19 to justify a bunch of operational business decisions that will leave hundreds of workers without jobs ... More>>

ALSO: