22 Aug 2016

Maketu Mongrel Mob member's property seized

9:45 pm on 22 August 2016

Police have seized the property assets of a senior member of the Maketu Mongrel Mob, including a forestry block.

The forfeited property, worth $1.17 million, was recovered from Valentine Nicholas, who lives in Bay of Plenty.

The seizure followed two criminal trials where Mr Nicholas faced charges of money laundering.

Mr Nicholas was found not guilty at a second trial, after the first trial ended in a hung jury.

The seizure followed a High Court judgment issued last week under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act.

It found Mr Nichols had an interest or control over the assets and that they were derived from significant criminal activity.

Detective Inspector Paul Hampton said the judgment was a reminder that the absence of a criminal conviction does not stop the forfeiture of assets.