10 Apr 2009

Easier to take criminals' assets under new law

10:07 pm on 10 April 2009

The Government has passed legislation that will make it easier to strip criminals of ill-gotten gains.

At present, someone has to have a conviction before property can be forfeited.

Justice Minister Simon Power told Parliament that under the new law, it will be sufficient for the police to prove the person has benefited from serious criminal offending.

He said in the past, criminals have been able to hang on to their wealth by avoiding a conviction.

Mr Power said the three bills passed by Parliament before the House rose for the Easter break will make it easier to strip away the profits and assets of criminals who hire others to work for them.

The Green Party and the Maori Party opposed the legislation.