News from NZ Police
A Hamilton man has today been ordered to hand over $5.1M worth of property and cash to the Crown in the largest judgement made against one individual under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act.
Stephen John Gray of Hamilton was convicted last year of manufacturing and supplying methamphetamine. He was also found guilty of cultivating and supplying cannabis, ecstasy and LSD.
After a further investigation by the Waikato organised crime squad four properties worth nearly $5M were seized along with two vehicles.
In the High Court in Auckland today Gray was sentenced to 12 years and ordered to forfeit $5.1M worth of property and cash.
The order comprised of a farm and a lifestyle block worth $2.7M to be made forfeit as instruments of crime and a profit forfeiture order of $2.4M
Detective Sergeant Craig Hamilton of the Waikato Organised Crime Squad said Gray’s wealth was a direct result of making and selling methamphetamine.
“That means he can’t keep it.”
“Buying flash houses and farms doesn’t legitimise drug money and the 2009 Criminal Proceeds Act ensures that we can get at the cash and the properties.”
“It is a good result for us and sends a clear message that offenders will be stripped of profits made through drug offending.”
In a second case, an order of $1.2M was made against Auckland man Feng Chih Hsu in the High Court in Auckland after he was found guilty last year of large scale methamphetamine and firearms offending.
Detective Superintendent Peter Devoy, National Manager Financial Crime Group said Asset Recovery Units around the country were working hard and having significant successes under the CPRA legislation, he said.
“Combining the two results means we have taken $6.3M back from drug offenders over the past two days” he said.
Since the CPRA came into effect in 2009, NZP has obtained Forfeiture Orders over 322 assets worth an estimated $26M.
NZ Police also currently hold Restraining Orders over assets worth an estimated $109.5 million (these are assets that have yet to be subject to court hearings to establish whether they will be made forfeit).