Masalas net millions
Three properties associated with the Masala Indian restaurant chain have netted almost $8 million at auction.
The three properties, in Auckland’s Mt Eden, Birkenhead and Stanmore Bay, were sold this week after being seized as part of a $34m restraining order granted over more than 30 properties linked to the chain back in 2015.
The chain reached an $8m settlement with Inland Revenue and police earlier this year.
The Mt Eden property sold for $3.61m, Stanmore Bay for $1.73m and Birkenhead for $2.54m.
A spokesman for Bayleys, which sold the properties, said there were 109 interested parties in the auction room for the three auctions.
Inland Revenue, Immigration New Zealand and the Department of Labour started investigations into companies and individuals involved with the Masala chain in 2012.
‘‘Those investigations identified widespread and systemic tax evasion and immigration-related offending by those involved with the Masala group,’’ Justice Rebecca Edwards said earlier this year.
The group reached an $8m settlement for asset forfeiture with IRD and the police in February, which the judge said.
The properties were used as premises for Masala restaurants or to accommodate staff of the Masala related companies.
‘‘The settlement sum is expected to be met in full through the sale of restrained properties.’’
Bayleys North Shore commercial agent John Algie said the three properties were operating as Indian restaurants but would suit a range of uses. These were the Indian Lounge restaurant in Mt Eden, Chutney Mary Fusion in Birkenhead, and Paprika in Stanmore Bay.
* The Auckland Masala restaurant chain is not affiliated with the Masala cafe and bar in Wellington.