pyramid scheme

PHOTO: Source:

Police have been forfeited more than $70 million consisting of cash and an Auckland property linked to multi-national pyramid scheme.

Detective Inspector Craig Hamilton described the “forfeiture” as the largest ever in the country’s history.

He said the High Court had approved a settlement between police and businessman Edward Gong.

Hamilton explained police first restrained the money in March 2017 after an investigation into suspicious funds deposited into New Zealand bank accounts between 2009 and 2016.

The funds were profits from a pyramid scheme based in China and Canada.

Gong is based in Canada and the money was transferred to New Zealand to conceal its source, Hamilton said.

“This settlement is a fantastic result and we thank both the Chinese and Canadian authorities for their assistance in bringing this matter to a successful conclusion,” Hamilton said.

The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 allows Police to restrain and forfeit assets acquired or derived from the proceeds of crime.

The forfeited property includes more than $68 million in cash and a property in East Tamaki Heights.