Police seized more than $1 million after three men were
stopped at Auckland International Airport with bundles of
cash strapped to their bodies.
Customs' officers noticed the three Japanese were walking
unusually when they arrived at the airport and found each had
around US$150,000 taped to his stomach and legs.
The cash was seized and charges of failing to declare cash
and importing a prohibited good were laid against Yoshiaki
Tanaka, his son Yusuke Tanaka and the unrelated Minoru
Tanaka. All three were bailed to a hotel in downtown Auckland
and will appear in the Manukau District Court next month.
The police also investigated New Zealand bank accounts in the
names of three men and have frozen another $484,700.
Of that, $441,232 was from a US foreign currency account. The
Herald understands the men flew to Hawaii and deposited cash
in a bank, which was then transferred to an ASB account in
New Zealand, shortly before they arriving in Auckland last
Yoshiaki Tanaka faces additional charges of money laundering,
a declaration offence and "structuring cross border
transportation to avoid the application" of the Anti-Money
Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Act.
In total, the police are seeking forfeiture of $1,081,196
from the men.
The restraining order application by the police alleges there
are "reasonable grounds to believe the property is tainted
property" and that the defendants "have unlawfully benefited
from significant criminal activity".
On behalf of the three men, David Jones, QC, has filed an
opposition to the forfeiture application, saying the
$1,081,196 was not "tainted property" but was acquired
legitimately and is the property of a third party.
* Yoshiaki Tanaka, Yusuke Tanaka and Minoru Tanaka were each
charged with failing to declare cash and with importing
* They had a total of US$470,000 strapped to their bodies.
* Police successfully sought $484,700 in bank accounts to be
* They want a total of $1,081,196 to be forfeited.
* QC for trio says money is not "tainted property''.