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
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
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,"
"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