On Tuesday 28 February, on application by the Commissioner of Police, the High Court made assets forfeiture orders of $8 million in respect of persons and companies associated with the former Masala chain of Indian restaurants. One of these stores was located in Pukekohe.

In December 2015, the Commissioner of Police successfully sought restraining orders under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 in respect of various properties throughout Auckland, Northland, and Waikato.

The sum of $8 million will be met from the sale of restrained properties.

Detective Sergeant Chris Allan of the Northern Asset Recovery Unit says “This forfeiture has recovered criminal proceeds from those involved in large-scale and systemic tax evasion and the consequent money laundering. We are delighted with the outcome and the message it sends to the wider community.”

The outcome of the civil proceeding in the High Court highlights the success of a joint Government approach to removing the proceeds of crime from those who undertake or benefit from significant criminal activity. New Zealand Police would like to acknowledge the assistance of Inland Revenue, Immigration New Zealand and the Labour Inspectorate.

In relation to Employment Relations Authority findings against the Masala chain of restaurants, Labour Inspectorate General Manager George Mason says anyone who breaches employment standards or exploits their workers can expect to face the combined and full effort of law enforcement.