Mega shares seized by authorities

Almost 20 per cent of the shares in Mega - the online storage business launched by Kim Dotcom last year - have been seized by authorities who raided the home of a multimillionaire businessman allegedly involved in money laundering.

Police last Thursday raided the luxury penthouse of William Yan and seized his assets because of alleged involvement in money laundering.

William Yan --also previously known as Bill Liu, Yang Liu and Yong Ming Yan - lives on the 35th floor of Auckland's Metropolis tower. Residents saw detectives removing items from his home last Thursday.

Millions of dollars worth of assets the police allege belong to Mr Yan - although officially registered in other people's names - have been seized, including the apartment, worth more than $2 million, a Mercedes-Benz, and shares and bank accounts.

Mega chief executive Graham Gaylard said today that 18.8 per cent of Mega were subject to the restraining orders over property associated with Yan.

These shares are held in two different companies and are now under the control of the Official Assignee, Gaylard said.

"The Police have commented that their action does not affect any innocent third parties (such as Mega) who have had business dealings with Mr Yan," Gaylard said.

"Mega has been extremely diligent to ensure that all its operations are fully compliant with all legal and regulatory requirements. Mega does not undertake any illegal activities and does not wish to be associated with any such activity," he said.

"Mega, as a limited liability company incorporated in New Zealand under the Companies Act 1993, is quite separate from its shareholders and is not responsible for the actions of shareholders or their finances."

Gaylard said that any funds received by Mega as subscription for new shares went through lawyers via banks who operate stringent anti-money laundering processes.

"The restraining order will not affect the operations of Mega. For us it is business as usual," Gaylard said.

No criminal charges have been laid against Yan. Defence lawyer Simon Lance said last week that Yan denied any alleged money laundering or other illegal activity.

- Hamish Fletcher of the NZ Herald

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