Taxpayers spent about $70,000 on the operation to arrest
Kim Dotcom and seize his luxury cars and art.
The cost doesn't include the cost of police staff, Crown
lawyers acting on behalf of the United States or time spent
The January 20 raid set in motion the US Department of
Justice case against Dotcom. The United States is trying to
extradite Dotcom on charges of criminal copyright violation
relating to his file-sharing Megaupload website.
Figures gained under the Official Information Act show police
estimated the cost of arresting Dotcom at $11,482. The figure
did not include police salaries.
The cars and luxury items taken from the home set taxpayers
back another $62,271 with $25,000 alone spent on moving
Dotcom's more expensive belongings.
Insurance for the belongings for seven weeks, which include
an estimated $6 million in cars, had cost about $6800 even
though they have been securely shut away in a warehouse since
Dotcom was an enthusiastic collector of luxury cars, ranging
from a 2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe to a 19576 Cadillac El
Dorado. He also had a collection of late-model Mercedes.
Once prized possessions, the cars are now expected to be
auctioned in a deal struck between Dotcom's lawyers and Crown
lawyers acting for the US.
The auction would be carried out with only a few cars at a
time to avoid devaluing the collection.
Even though the case might be costing taxpayers, New Zealand
does stand to come out ahead if Dotcom is convicted in the
The goods are frozen but a successful conviction could see
his fortune forfeited as tainted criminal proceeds.
Official Assignee Guy Sayers said there was no mechanism for
funds seized by Dotcom to be transferred to the US. He said
forfeited goods would be transferred to the New Zealand
government and become part of the Crown accounts.
A failed case by the US would leave the taxpayer exposed.
Police commissioner Peter Marshall last week gave the High
Court formal notice it would be the focus of any liability
case by Dotcom if he were to sue.
Meanwhile, Dotcom has filed legal papers in US courts after
moves to allow Megaupload's databases to be wiped.
Megaupload's members stored their files on more than 1100
computer servers owned by Carpathia Hosting, the company
which was raided by the FBI as Dotcom was being arrested.
The FBI told Carpathia Hosting it could wipe the servers
because snapshots of data from two of the servers was enough
to prosecute Dotcom and his colleagues.
Carpathia sought a ruling from the court because keeping the
data was costing it money _ but deleting it could leave it
open to a law suit.
Dotcom said the US government was allowing destruction of
evidence to be used by the defence. He said Megaupload had
wanted to buy Carpathia Hosting's servers for $1.4 million
but the Department of Justice would not relax the freezing
order to allow the money to be used.
The court papers state the FBI didn't explore the servers to
look for evidence "beyond loading up to prove its case'' and
was now trying to block similar investigations by the
• $70,000 was spent on the operation to arrest Kim Dotcom and
seize his luxury cars and art.
• This didn't include the cost of police staff, Crown lawyers
acting on behalf of the United States or time spent in court.
• Cars and luxury items taken from the home cost another
• $25,000 was spent on moving Dotcom's more expensive