New Zealand’s in the doghouse again, about organized crime, and may not re-emerge for a while.
I wrote about the Mexican drug lords’ enormous New Zealand connection here . It’s a long post about a meaty $400Bn, yes that’s Billion, of moneylaundering, via front companies set up from New Zealand.
Now there is a new reputational disaster. According to New Zealand’s internet newspaper, Stuff, the Russian mafia also had its way with New Zealand’s magnificently lax, yet painfully transparent, company incorporation regime:
Another New Zealand shell company has been linked to an alleged fraud worth more than US$150m – this time involving Ukrainian state-owned companies.
The company, Falcona Systems Ltd of Albany, Auckland, was struck off the New Zealand Company Register last October but only after it was used to gain $150m in kickbacks for Ukrainian and Latvian officials, according to East European media reports.
The latest allegations involving New Zealand shell companies comes five days after Fairfax Media was told by the Latvia Finance Ministry that New Zealand had been struck off a European Union banking and corporate ”white list” over our weak money laundering and terrorism financing controls.
One imagines that this hit to New Zealand’s reputation could at last spell the end for John Key’s pitifully idiotic plan to turn New Zealand into an offshore financial “hub” , too, but then, that inane pet project has survived all sorts of heavy contact with reality already.
Back to Stuff:
Latvian authorities said they moved after revelations Tormex Ltd, of Queen Street, Auckland, allegedly washed US$680m through a Riga bank account – no explanation of where