This week New Zealand Police FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) has published an updated assessment of the money laundering and terrorism financing risks.
As per the latest report by New Zealand’s Financial Intelligence Unit, the domestic criminal justice activities in the country is generating $1.35 billion for money laundering each year. The report reveals that most of the illegal money comes from drug offending ($750m), fraud ($500m) and other offenses such as burglary ($100m).
The unit believes that the actual amount would be much higher than the estimated figure as the report doesn’t estimate doesn’t include tax offending or laundering of money from the overseas criminal activity.
The report has identified several high-risk sectors that offer opportunities to launder money in New Zealand – financial, legal, accounting, real estate, and retail including other dealer services that:
- Facilitate anonymity to the offenders
- Move large value and volumes of legitimate funds, and provide a window for illicit transactions
- Do not meet AML/CFT standards and/or
- Provide cash-intensive (*Particularly used to disguise drugs proceeds)
International wire transfers are highlighted in the report as being at highest risk followed by the real estate sector for an overseas risk as the sector is vulnerable to abuse in large money laundering transactions.
In an interview, NZP FIU Manager Detective Inspector Christiaan Barnard told the police department worked closely with international partners to stymie criminal attempts to use these networks. The money remained a key driver of crime in the country, which is reflected by New Zealand Police’s target of seizing $500 million in cash and assets from criminals by 2021, he further added.
The full report can be found here
Source – nzherald.co.nz