Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Bill 1st Reading

The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today.

The Bill toughens up the way that those who engage in criminal activity may have their assets confiscated by the Crown, Justice Minister Mark Burton said today.

The Bill will introduce a civil forfeiture regime for property and profits derived from significant criminal activity. The Bill, which will replace the Proceeds of Crime Act 1991, also provides for the Crown to confiscate property used to commit a crime.

"The new Bill targets the incidence and impact of organised crime. It will allow the authorities to strip criminal gangs of their assets and take away the profits of their actions. It will act both as a disincentive to criminals and disrupt their capacity to finance further criminal activity," Mark Burton said.

"Under the new legislation organised criminal gangs, particularly those involved in large-scale drug dealing, will not need to be caught for every crime that they commit. Criminals will instead need to prove their property was legally obtained," Mark Burton said.

The Serious Fraud Office will be able to seek a High Court order freezing a person's assets if it can show that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person benefited either directly or indirectly from serious criminal activity. The SFO can then seek a forfeiture order through the courts to seize the frozen money or assets. The Crown will need to prove that, on the balance of probabilities, which is the civil standard of proof, a person has benefited from significant criminal activity, whether that offending was proven in a criminal court or not.

"The existing legislation allows the Crown to confiscate the profit made from crime after a person is convicted of that crime. However criminal gangs spread the profits of crime around," Mark Burton said.

"The new legislation will allow us to target other criminals along the chain, and in particular, those who live in lavish circumstances and direct the criminal offending of those further down the line.

"This will be the first time that New Zealand will have had such a regime. The approach is similar to that used in New South Wales, which has been highly successful in targeting the proceeds of crime.

"Overall, I am confident that the Bill will produce a fair but powerful weapon against crime", Mark Burton said. "It will also contribute to New Zealand's compliance with our international obligations. Over the last decade Australia, Canada, Ireland and the UK have introduced similar regimes. By establishing a civil forfeiture regime here, New Zealand will be able to work with these other countries to target criminal profits that are stored offshore."

The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Bill replaces the Criminal Proceeds and Instruments Bill, which was withdrawn from the House in July 2006 in order to extend its scope. The introduction of the new bill allowed for inclusion of the international enforcement regime.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On How Women Are Suffering The Most From The Covid Economic Recession

Both here and abroad, the Covid-19 economic recession has been disastrous for women workers and their families. In November, young women below 30 in particular were feeling the consequences:

Of concern is the sustained deterioration in youth employment, particularly for females, with a -4.3% pa drop in filled jobs for females aged below 30, and a 3.9%pa drop for males aged below 30....More>>


New Zealand Government: Cook Islanders To Resume Travel To New Zealand

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such ... More>>


A New Year: No politicians at Rātana in 2021

Annual celebrations at Rātana pā will be different this year, amid a decision to hold an internal hui for church adherents only… More>>


Covid: Border Exception for 1000 International Students

The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began....More>>





InfoPages News Channels