NZ hosts money laundering discussions

  • 13/07/2015
Amy Adams (Simon Wong/3 News)
Amy Adams (Simon Wong/3 News)

The reporting of suspicious financial transactions in New Zealand has increased significantly since laws were tightened, Justice Minister Amy Adams has told an international conference in Auckland.

New Zealand is hosting and co-chairing the regional conference on ways to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

There are 360 delegates from 41 countries attending, along with representatives from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and United Nations.

The conference opened today and Ms Adams said in her speech money laundering was an insidious crime that was becoming more challenging to detect as criminal networks turned to modern technology.

She said that as a result of law changes in New Zealand, reporting of suspicious transactions to the police's financial intelligence unity had increased.

In 2013 nearly 12,000 transactions worth $545 million were reported.

In 2014 this grew to more than 86,500 transactions worth $3.5 billion.

Between December 2013 and May this year, reporting contributed to four police operations that led to 30 arrests and the seizure of drugs and assets worth more than $220m.

"Money laundering undermines the integrity and stability of financial institutions and systems, discourages foreign investment and distorts international capital flows," she said.

"It has negative consequences for a country's financial stability and economic performance, draining resources from more productive economic activities."