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Source: New Zealand Police (District News)

The full and final settlement in relation to the seizure of a drug dealer’s lifestyle block took place in the Dunedin High Court last week.

The property was first restrained in November 2018 after the offender was caught dealing in methamphetamine and cultivating cannabis.

The High Court has now made asset forfeiture orders in relation to a lifestyle block near Dunedin to the total value of $225,000.

This is a full and final settlement of the proceedings under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act.

The offender, a 51 year old man, received a nearly-8 year prison sentence in March 2018 for his criminal offending.

“This is a significant success for the Southern District and New Zealand Police,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart McGowan, officer in charge of the Southern Asset Recovery Unit.

The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act (CPRA) allows Police to restrain and forfeit assets acquired or derived from the proceeds of crime. It also provides for the restraint and forfeiture of assets used during the commission of crime.

Since 1 July 2017, around $90 million in assets have been forfeited nationally.

“The intention of the CPRA is to disrupt, deter, and derail crime, especially in the areas of organised crime and methamphetamine offending.

“This is achieved by denying criminals the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of their offending or to reinvest those proceeds in further criminal activity,” says Detective Senior Sergeant McGowan.

When an asset is restrained, it is placed into the custody and control of the Official Assignee, who is responsible for its maintenance, storage and safety while further investigations and court actions take place.

Once an asset has been made subject to a Forfeiture Order, the Official Assignee arranges for its sale, with funds deposited into the Proceeds of Crime Fund.

It’s from this fund that Cabinet approves the funding of projects and initiatives to help repair and reduce the damage caused in communities by methamphetamine and organised crime.

“This is a reward for our staff who are responding to so much methamphetamine-related crime on a daily basis,” Detective Senior Sergeant McGowan says.

“It is a treacherous drug causing serious harm in our communities. We urge anyone with information about this type of activity to come forward.

“The more we know, the more effective we can be at stopping criminals unfairly profiting at the expense of others,” says Detective Senior Sergeant McGowan.

ENDS

Issued by the Police Media Centre

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