Citifleet review findings blacked out

An internal review of the initial police investigation into the $1.5 million Citifleet fraud has made several findings, but exactly what they are remain under wraps.

Months after the conclusion of the investigation Dunedin police last week released a heavily redacted copy of the review to the Otago Daily Times.

Police announced in June their investigation was complete, and no charges would be laid, after being called in by the Dunedin City Council in mid-2014.

It was later revealed the original police investigation report, completed last December, had been reviewed by Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Inglis, and that work on a final report was continuing.

The author of the first report, Detective Matt Preece, no longer worked for police, having resigned in November last year to take up a new role with the Serious Fraud Office.

Det Snr Sgt Inglis' review, completed in February this year, stretched to four pages, but about half its contents were blacked out prior to being released to the ODT last week.

What was left still showed the review had identified seven key findings in relation to the original police investigation, resulting in eight recommendations for improvement.

However, all seven of the key findings were blacked out, as was one of the eight recommendations and parts of others.

Those recommendations that were not blacked out included reassigning the file to a detective sergeant and a detective to complete, as well as a series of process improvements.

It was also recommended people or companies found to have bought more than three former Citifleet vehicles should be interviewed, with formal written statements taken.

''While reading the file I have started a directional spreadsheet with inquiries that I believe need conducting in relation to the investigation of this matter,'' Det Snr Sgt Inglis wrote.

A brief passage on the Dunedin City Council was also heavily redacted, as were most of the review's conclusion.

The review did agree ''on the face of it'' that it was unlikely anyone could be prosecuted for receiving former Citifleet vehicles, but recommended interviews for those who bought more than 10 vehicles and on-sold them quickly for profit.

''There has been a large amount of public money stolen, in excess of a million dollars, which needs to be fully investigated and reported on,'' Det Snr Sgt Inglis wrote.

A police spokesman told the ODT the final investigation report was yet to be completed, but would be released once it was.

Further questions from the ODT went without response yesterday.

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

 

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