Police investigate super city voting scam

Wednesday 22 Sep 2010 5:23 p.m.

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By Simon Shepherd

Police investigating super city vote rigging have used search warrants on properties in South Auckland.

Three hundred and six enrolments have already been cancelled because the voters did not live at the registered addresses.

Manjit Kaur and her husband Avtar have been living in Pukekohe for 10 years, so imagine their surprise when police turned up asking why she'd enrolled in the South Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe.

"We never lived at that address, and that handwriting was not belonging to us, 'cause we had not filled that form," says Mr Kaur.

Ms Kaur signs her name in English, yet the police had a form with her date of birth and a signature in Punjabi.

"There is something serious going on," says Mr Kaur.

Concerns over dodgy registrations have already led to 306 being cancelled and the police being called in.

"We've executed a number of search warrants within the Papatoetoe area, residential and commercial properties," says Det Insp Mark Gutry.

One of the properties searched was the real estate office where Labour candidate Daljit Singh works. He said today police had not contacted him.

"What we're doing at present is investigating the enrolments," says Mr Gutry. "As part of that process we are going to end up speaking to candidates right throughout the Papatoetoe area."

Another address visited was Indo Spice World, where coincidentally today a support vehicle for Mr Singh was parked at his office next door.

The business is owned by Gurinder Atwal, who also owns a house where 48 people were registered to vote.

He has previously denied any voting scam, but wouldn't comment today.

The police say their investigation is trying to ensure a fair and free democratic process. And although the local body elections close on October 9, the inquiry may take much longer.

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