Bill to crack down on organised crime

  • Amy Adams

A new Bill to combat organised crime and corruption passed its first reading with unanimous support in Parliament today.

Justice Minister Amy Adams says the Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill will respond to the threat posed by illicit activities such as money laundering, fraud and drug-related crime, both domestically and internationally.

“This Government takes the threat of organised crime to New Zealand’s economy and reputation very seriously,” Ms Adams says.

“New Zealand is consistently perceived to be the least corrupt country in the world, but the growing impact of organised crime and corruption means we must not be complacent.

“This Bill gives law enforcement agencies greater powers to tackle organised crime and corruption on a number of fronts. It ensures New Zealand law is in line with international best practice, improving our ability to support global efforts to fight these pernicious crimes,” she says.

Key measures include:

  • requiring banks to report all international transfers over $1,000 and all physical cash transactions of $10,000 or more to the Financial Intelligence Unit within Police
  • redrafting the money laundering offence to specify that intent to conceal is not required
  • introducing new offences to address identity crime,  including selling or passing on identity information
  • amending the people trafficking offence so that it applies to such activity in New Zealand, not just when victims  are moved in or out of this country
  • amending the Policing Act 2008 to expressly provide Police with a power to share information with its international counterparts
  • revising the foreign bribery offence, including clarifying the circumstances in which a corporation is liable for foreign bribery
  • increasing penalties for bribery and corruption in the private sector to bring them into line with public sector bribery offences.

“New Zealand is committed to tackling organised crime and corruption and to enhancing our already high standing as a responsible member of the international community,” Ms Adams says.

The Bill has been referred to the Law and Order Committee for consideration.