Bill cracking down on organised crime passes into law

  • Amy Adams

New Zealand’s organised crime and corruption laws are now stronger with the passing of the Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation Bill today, says Justice Minister Amy Adams.

The Bill, which introduces a range of measures to tackle illicit activities such as money laundering, bribery and drug-related crime, passed its third reading in Parliament with the support of all parties except for New Zealand First.

Ms Adams says the Government is committed to protecting New Zealanders and our economy from corruption and organised crime, and maintaining our international reputation as one of the least corrupt countries.

“The Bill keeps New Zealand in step with international best practice in efforts to crack down on this growing problem, both here and abroad.

“It will also allow authorities to work more closely with their international counterparts to strengthen our response to serious trans-national crimes,” says Ms Adams.

Key measures include:

  • Requiring banks to report all international wire transfers over $1000 and all physical cash transactions of $10,000 or more to the Financial Intelligence Unit within Police.
  • Amending 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.
  • Extending the people trafficking offence so that it applies to trafficking within 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.
  • Strengthening the foreign bribery offence to respond to recommendations made by the OECD Working Group on Bribery.
  • Increasing penalties for bribery and corruption in the private sector to bring them into line with public sector bribery offences.

“These changes reflect New Zealand’s policy of zero-tolerance to organised crime and corruption, and will bolster our role and reputation as world leaders in this area,” says Ms Adams.