Organised crime crackdown

October 30th, 2009 at 3:01 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

In a crackdown on organised crime, Mr Broad and Minister announced a new police squad dedicated to confiscating millions of dollars of assets owned by crime bosses. …

The 22-man Assets Recovery Unit will be made up of veteran police investigators and forensic specialists while making use of accountants and legal experts. …

Ms Collins said had changed since the 1970s, becoming sophisticated criminal businesses. Gang bosses owned farms, houses, cars, boats and motorcycles. Some of the seized proceeds would be used to fund methamphetamine rehabilitation and youth aid programmes, and some of it would go back into law enforcement.

I’d be tempted to stick the team on commission – they get 10% of everything they can get off the gangs :-)

No I am not serious, but it is good to see a dedicated focus in this area.

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36 Responses to “Organised crime crackdown”

  1. themono (129 comments) says:

    Why not? Commission of 25% of anything they seize, less a penalty fine equal to 100% of anything found to have been wrongfully seized…. Gives you a great incentive to do a good job, and also a great incentive not to overstep the law…

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  2. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    Under what legislation will this operate? In other jurisdictions the empowering legislation tends to be very poorly drafted so that you have, for instance, an elderly couple’s home being seized and sold because their son was growing hydroponic cannabis in their roof cavity, unbeknownst to them.

    It sounds good – and if it works properly it is good – but more often than not dopey (or greedy) legislators make an absolute mess of it, and end up turning the public against the idea.

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  3. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    They can start with Michael Cullen wardrobe.

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  4. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    Commission is effectively how this works in a large number of US jurisdictions (and perhaps some Australian ones too). The police departments get to keep what they seize. It’s been quite problematic.

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  5. reid (15,505 comments) says:

    Hopefully they’ll be going after crim’s families as well. Not much point, otherwise.

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  6. themono (129 comments) says:

    Hey Graeme – you don’t have any articles or anything you can link me to? I’m kinda curious about this now…

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  7. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    A yes, reid, the old guilt by association trick. I can’t prove you’re a liar, so let me attack your parents. The innocent tarred with the guilty. Yep, that’s in your bible, too, isn’t it?

    Rex has just about nailed it.

    Of course, it may be asking too much, but if the proceeds of crime are so high, why not eliminate the crime? treat drug use as what it is, a health issue, not a crime. Is that so hard?

    How long have we been fighting “the war on drugs”? Who is the enemy and when will we know we have have won?

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  8. RightNow (6,336 comments) says:

    It’s not just drugs jerk.

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  9. reid (15,505 comments) says:

    “A yes, reid, the old guilt by association trick.”

    Jack, it’s simply that they should not be permitted to avoid asset confiscation by the simple trick of claiming that the asset belongs to their wife, child or their parents.

    Simple. You lefties really love to encourage crime and destruction don’t you. And yet you claim you really care about people.

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  10. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    reid, I am all in favour of criminals being caught and punished. It is part of being a leftie, as you put it, that we live in a safe community. Just what have you got against requiring a standard of proof of guilt?

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  11. RightNow (6,336 comments) says:

    The police are requiring a standard of proof from the crims. If they’re not guilty then they’ll have something like a payslip to prove they earned what they have.
    Just what have you got against requiring a standard of proof of guilt?

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  12. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Bullfuckingshit jackboot.

    Part of being a leftie is fuck with language and statisitics to claim a result that doesn’t exist. Thats why Uncle Helens sudden spike in violent crime was good because she had her pet cop comish claim it was actually increased reporting.

    Piss of and go build a false poll using an assumed name why don’t you.

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  13. James (1,338 comments) says:

    This sort of thing is the begining of the slippery slope to police corruption.In the US asset foriture laws are majorly abused by scum cops troughing for their own gain….this needs watching carefully

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  14. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    It will be interesting who they target as I hear gangs are the tip of the iceberg. Would have thought it would be better to keep a low profile if you are planning to do this. Is announcing on National TV what you are going to do first good strategy when you are going to raid someone’s assets? Overpromising and underdelivering is likely to leave red faces.

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  15. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    RightNow (385) Vote: 1 0 Says:

    October 30th, 2009 at 3:40 pm
    Just what have you got against requiring a standard of proof of guilt?

    Absolutely nothing, that’s why we have courts.

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  16. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Murray, fuck off and eat a few more palestinian babies.

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  17. Grant Michael McKenna (1,151 comments) says:

    Where the Inquisition got to receive the estates of those condemned for witchcraft or heresy, the numbers of those condemned for witchcraft or heresy increased; where the estates were forfeited to the authorities the number dropped immensely. Check “The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision”. New Haven: Yale University Press (1998) by Henry Kamen; it is the best recent summary that I know of.

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  18. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    Gotta love the reverse burden of proof, this is going to get abused like mad…

    Only gotta look at how this is abused in the states, with properties, cars etc being confiscated off innocents, or the parents of drug users etc going straight to the local police…

    This won’t do anything to stop “organised crime” or drug use, or gangs, only show that the MP cares, and the cops can be seen to be doing something with the odd photo opportunity bust come election time.

    If the national government was serious about getting rid of the gangs, they would remove their source of income, not by confiscation, but by legalising pot, and other recreational substances as well. The only reason these gangs make their money is because of prohibition.

    Quite frankly it should be none of the NZ Polices business how anyone makes their money, unless the police can prove that they have done so illegally. Mere suspicion should not require someone to have to prove to the cops that their property is legitmate.

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  19. Repton (769 comments) says:

    @themono: You could start with Wikipedia, particularly the external links at the bottom. For example, this one: http://www.isil.org/resources/lit/looting-of-america.html

    The problem in America seems to twofold. Firstly, the asset forfeiture system operates in civil court, rather than criminal court (even if it’s relevant to proceeds of crime). Quoting from the article I linked:

    If government agents seize your property under civil asset forfeiture, you can forget about being innocent until proven guilty, due process of law, the right to an attorney, or even the right to trial. All of those rights only exist if you are charged with a criminal offense; that is, with an offense which could result in your imprisonment. If you (or your property) are accused of a civil offense (offenses which could not result in your imprisonment), the Supreme Court has ruled that you have no presumption of innocence, no right to an attorney, and no protection from double jeopardy.

    Secondly, the police get to keep what they take.

    Why do our courts tolerate these outrageous legalized thefts? Because they get their cut. It’s completely legal for confiscated property to be used by police, prosecutors and judges, so long as it’s for official business. In 1996, a federal district court even ruled that police can personally receive 25% of the value of any confiscated home, car, or business.

    I don’t know if the new law in New Zealand is going the same way (I hope not), but this is the reason some people are concerned about asset forfeiture.

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  20. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    Anyone interested in the American experience with these sort of laws, should check out:

    http://www.fear.org/victimindex.html

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  21. nandor tanczos (77 comments) says:

    Id say this is almost certaintly the implementation of Labour’s Proceedings of Crimes Act. That was a very badly drafted law and indeed, as Rex suggests, it does allow the confiscation of your house because it is ‘tainted’ by crime eg your tenant grew pot in their garden, or tribal land because someone grew pot on it

    Rigth Now – it may theoretically be about other offenses, but the evidence from NZ’s prior proceeds of crimes act, and from overseas, is that it is almost exclusively used for that purpose.

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  22. thedavincimode (6,102 comments) says:

    Is a 22 man (oops, person) squad going to be big enough to go after Liarbore?

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  23. big bruv (12,321 comments) says:

    Great legislation and long overdue, Judith Collins again demonstrates why she will one day be a magnificent PM.

    It is worth remembering (because the pinko media will not report it) that the Mowree party and the Greens did not want to see the proceeds of crime removed from these (largely) brown criminals, the fat useless female co leader of the Mowree party does not want to see Mowree criminals targeted by the Police.

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  24. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    Will this law also apply to the various National Party bagmen unable to explain where the readies came from? …or what about former currency speculators suffering memory loss about dubious share transactions? …what about “gangster” tax inspectors literally ‘demanding money with menaces’ from hardworking capitalists?

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

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  25. Viking2 (10,695 comments) says:

    More dead policemen IMHO. Why wouldn’t a gang defend themselves against the police when the rules are going to allow everything to be stolen with no burden of proof. We will see a gang police war that will get rather horrific. Human Nature.
    Who determines the line between crime and not a crime? When is something not a crime under all our current laws? The police seem to be able to decide on a charge to suit any occason so where is the safety valve?

    Decriminalizing as above is the only way. World experience demonstrates this.

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  26. bill hicks (100 comments) says:

    this is very very interesting http://blog.mpp.org/uncategorized/netherlands-to-close-prisons-not-enough-criminals/05262009/ and from one of the worlds top economists on how to solve the war on drugs and to stop crime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLsCC0LZxkY

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  27. kiki (425 comments) says:

    I have studied this for sometime and yes we need to decriminalise drugs. For anyone who will listen I will list some steps we need to take

    1/ define social drugs that are acceptable. This would put alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and BZP or ecstasy derivative in one group and heroin, lsd and meth type drugs in another.

    2/Allow the sale (or at least the possession) of the social drugs to those over 18

    3/ separate the sale of food and drug (no sales in supermarket)

    4/ enforce the restriction of sale or supply to minors strictly and follow up.

    5/Allow doctors to proscribe heroin and meth to addicts and provide the opportunity to attend addiction courses

    5/Make intoxication in public an offence this is the major problem

    6/ ban all advertising and sponsorship by drug suppliers

    If you followed this, up to 1/3 (or more) of your prison population would go. Farmers could sleep safe without people planting drugs and stealing bikes. Insurance costs would drop, gangs would lose their major income that allows them to corrupt others. Thefts would decrease as people would not need to steal for drugs or come into contact with criminals on a regular basis.

    Drug use would drop as an addict who cannot afford their drug habit sell to support their habit, this would stop.

    The biggest impediment to stopping crime in NZ are the police and government. The police would lose their power to scare us into giving them more power and the government are comprised of stupid gutless cowards

    Think of Millie Elder. If cannabis and ecstasy had been available would she have tried P, if she had tried P illegally and become addicted she could have gone to her doctor and receive legal meth and been put on an addiction program.

    But no, we have theft, court costs, police time and heart break and humiliation all for nothing

    It is not the drugs that cause that the problems we see but the prohibition we put in place.

    we need sane intelligent brave politicians

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  28. Anthony (736 comments) says:

    I wholeheartedly agree Kiki. And the same approach could have a huge positive impact on world affairs. Imagine if the Taleban didn’t have all the money they make from growing poppies for a start!

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  29. kiki (425 comments) says:

    I would look at this the other way. The world is short of opium imagine allowing farmers to grow it legitimately,

    Also by making it a prescription drug the price would drop so the farmers would move to other crops and this would remove the war lord control and corruption.

    This would be the greatest weapon against the Taleban as rule by the local warlords was what inspired the Taleban and no farmer would let them back in if they threatened their profits.

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  30. V (660 comments) says:

    Why not trial placing a general bounty on the reporting of gang activities available to the general public?
    4 million incentivized citizens might do wonders?

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  31. billyborker (1,102 comments) says:

    Kiki, I have long argued this as well, but as long as we have governments who sign up to anything with “war on” as the first 2 words, it will never happen.

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  32. Ross Miller (1,624 comments) says:

    So, Collins walks the walk, some talk the walk, others talk the talk while a few just bleat.

    As for decriminalisating drugs ….. bleat on.

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  33. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Oh for someone with the guts to tell Paul Holmes to his face…”Paul….its people like YOU with your ideas that cause cases like Millies…Its YOU that is the really drug problem.”

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  34. mike tan (236 comments) says:

    I completely agree with kikis post, for too long i have struggled to understand why the government wont take such an approach.

    I can only assume that the main thing is fear that legalised drug use will somehow tarnish NZ’s international reputation

    I think our reputation is already tarnished, we are at the bottom of the OECD, we have people on the dole earning more than hardworkers, we ignore the wishes of the vast majority of the people, we encourage poor people to have children they cannot support, we spend little on our children, and lots on degenerates who abuse the welfare system

    I think that the radical change in approach could actually do some good to NZ’s reputation, as people will see that we are recognising our problems and working to fix them.

    If legalised drugs mean rich party minded college students come here to consume, then so be it, as long as they are bringing money into our economy, and we have strong legislation/regulation, i see no problem.

    I cannot stress just how significant, and needed, the relief to the prison system is. Getting rid of all the non-violent drug abusers will free up plenty of space to keep the hard criminals locked up for long periods.

    Thats the other thing we need, hard sentences for criminals, i am completely appalled at the 3 year sentence given to that cold blooded murderer.

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  35. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    good comments mike

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  36. Shane Pleasance (27 comments) says:

    I wrote a post on this a wee while back here .
    Police in UK, under the guise of project RIZE, raided hundreds of safe deposit boxes, with a ’9 out of 10′ certainty of claiming illicit gains. It transpired to be more like 1 in 10. Many who were raided have yet to have their goods returned – some unable to prove, for example, their familial inheritances were legal.
    This is exactly the kind of scenario predicted – and denied. In the post is a link to the article.

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