The owner of a $2 million lifestyle block seized by police under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act, has left the country before detectives could press charges against him. He is the sole director and shareholder of an Auckland company and he and his finance manager have been jointly charged with laundering $1.9 million in the past year. The charges laid against them were the second phase in Operation Acacia, a joint operation between the newly formed police Organised and Financial Crime Agency (OFCANZ) and the Auckland metro crime squad.
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A detective inspector working on the case said police were unable to arrest the director before he left the country because of insufficient evidence. He is quoted as stating: “It was early days on the money-laundering inquiry. He was on our radar but we didn’t have grounds to arrest him.”