DIA reshuffle: new investigation teams, money laundering, criticism

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 12/08/2012
The money detectives take on casinos
By Steve Kilgallon – Sunday Star Times
A specialist casino investigations team is targeting offshore gamblers pumping millions through casinos on flying visits to New Zealand. The team is part of a major reshuffle at Internal Affairs, which is also establishing a major investigations team tasked with prosecuting sophisticated poker machine frauds, an area where it has faced major recent criticism. DIA staff and Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain have been briefed on the changes in the past few days. The casino team will be told its priority is potential money-laundering.

“There are some examples of people being in New Zealand for a relatively short period of time and putting quite a lot of money through the casino,” said Maarten Quivooy, Internal Affairs’ general manager of regulatory and compliance operations. “We are not saying that’s necessarily anything illegal, but it does raise the question ‘what do we know about these things?’

Internal Affairs’ other new team will be called the regulatory investigations team, which will be given extra support, work under Quivooy’s direct command and be told to chase “serious, wilful, deliberate, harmful” offenders.

The department has been heavily criticised in recent years for failing to prosecute alleged pokie rorts. But Quivooy denied the move was a response to that or an acknowledgement of any failings. “We are not doing this to placate people, we are doing it because it is the right thing to do.”

But Internal Affairs critic Martin Legge, a former gambling inspector and later industry whistleblower, said the changes were “akin to rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic” and a “deliberate and cynical ploy to deflect attention from their spectacular failure in regulating the pokie industry and stopping the rorts”. Legge said Internal Affairs already had a Serious Investigation Unit which had achieved little and he believed the department lacked the “culture, skills and fortitude” to legally outwit rogue trusts.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Economics, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management

3 responses to “DIA reshuffle: new investigation teams, money laundering, criticism

  1. Turei’s bill might have been useful had it not been turfed out by the pro-SkyCity National-led government…

    Preschool’s $150k lost in casino spree http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/education/9857874/Preschools-150k-lost-in-casino-spree

  2. Elizabeth

    William Yan – also known as Bill Liu, Yang Liu and Yong Ming Yan – has been at the centre of a political storm and his apartment has been raided.

    ### NZ Herald Online Sat, 11 Oct 2014
    $129 million fraud
    By Jared Savage
    A wealthy businessman allegedly stole $129 million in his homeland and concealed the fortune in New Zealand through complex money laundering transactions, while forging political links to support his controversial citizenship bid.
    One transaction is alleged to have been a $2.3 million sum “filtered” through Auckland’s SkyCity casino to buy an apartment in the Metropolis tower with cash, while large shareholdings in Kim Dotcom’s Mega were held by trusts and companies in other people’s names.
    William Yan – also known as Bill Liu, Yang Liu and Yong Ming Yan – has made headlines for his links to the previous Labour government and the decision to give him a New Zealand passport, despite having multiple identities and an Interpol alert against his name.
    Read more

  3. Russell Garbutt

    The DIA are incompetent at best. Evidence enough to send people to jail for extended periods has been consistently presented to this Department for years and their failure to act can only be ascribed to either incompetence or complicity. Frankly, I wouldn’t believe a single word that they say. But their time will come. As will the time for all those that conspired to lie, cheat and defraud using pokie fund rorts and think that they got away with it. Keep on looking over your shoulder folks.

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