New Assets Recovery Unit powerful tool for police
New Assets Recovery Unit a powerful tool for police
Police say the new Assets Recovery Unit will significantly enhance police capability to target the profits of gangs and organised criminals.
The Minister of Police, Judith Collins, announced the setting up of the new police unit today.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Rob Pope, said the Assets Recovery Unit will be the vehicle through which Police use new criminal proceeds recovery legislation.
The new legislation allows for the proceeds of crime to be forfeited to the crown based on the civil standard of proof (balance of probabilities) rather than being solely dependent on securing a criminal conviction.
"Powers to seize illegally gained assets on the balance of probabilities will be a powerful tool for Police" said Deputy Commissioner Pope.
"Convictions punish the individual, but divesting them of their wealth will destroy their power base."
The new unit will work closely with the new police National Intelligence Centre, the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand (OFCANZ) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). It will also provide a service to other agencies requiring support with financial investigations.
Regional Assets Recovery Units will be set up in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and will support local District investigations into financial and organised crime.
"Financial information is set to become as valuable to investigations and fingerprints or DNA," Mr Pope said.
"The Assets Recovery Unit and the new legislation it supports are essential to ensuring we can effectively and proactively follow the money trail."