New Zealand police has sized lightly more than $4M USD alledgedly linked to movie piracy.
The news, reported by the New Zealand Herald on November 23rd, mentions that the fuds were locked under the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act (CPRA). The suspect is Jaron David McIvor, a 31-old Hamilton based programmer. This comes after an associate of McIvor saw his own funds seized earlier in November.
The CPRA process will determine if the funds were indeed accumulated through illegal activity, in which case the judge could allow funds confiscation, along with any other assets found during the inquiry.
New Zealand police suspects that McIvor earned the money through an illegal streaming website he co-created. This website allowed anyone to watch movies for free, without legal authorization nor without paying royalties to the movie right owners.
The case started after a tip was received from the U.S. IRS (Internal Revenue Service), itself alerted by PayPal after multiple suspicious payments ringed internal alarms. Further investigation led the case to New Zealand. The revenues were then laundered through various services, in part toward New Zealand based bank accounts. Detective Kay precises:
“Introducing illicitly-obtained funds into New Zealand constitutes money laundering and police will thoroughly investigate and restrain the assets of those who undertake such activity […] regardless of where in the world the crime is committed.”
In Hamilton yesterday, McIvor’s lawyer Truc Tran, speaking for his client, was denying any illegal activity and was sure that further inquiry would vindicate him.