Money laun­der loses her home

Rotorua Review - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - EL­TON RIKIHANA SMALLMAN

The house used to laun­der money in an in­ter­na­tional meth oper­a­tion has been sold for ‘‘sig­nif­i­cantly higher’’ than the rate­able val­u­a­tion with pro­ceeds go­ing to the Crown.

Po­lice seized Linda Olive Ald­worth’s Ro­torua home fol­low­ing a 2014 in­ves­ti­ga­tion into metham­phetamine re­lated of­fend­ing.

The house sold in July 2017 for $385,000 and all pro­ceeds of the sale were for­feited to the Crown.

‘‘This is a strong mes­sage to those in­volved in crime,’’ said De­tec­tive Se­nior Sergeant Brent Mur­ray of the Cen­tral As­set Re­cov­ery Unit.

‘‘If you suc­cumb to the temp­ta­tion and greed of money earned from crime then you face los­ing your as­sets.’’

Ald­worth, a Ro­torua nurse, was in a re­la­tion­ship with an­other per­son who was also ar­rested in the po­lice oper­a­tion. She was ar­rested in the 2014 Na­tional Or­gan­ised Crime Group oper­a­tion.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­sulted in a num­ber of ar­rests and con­vic­tions for the im­por­ta­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion of at least 1.75 kilo­grams of metham­phetamine.

The Welling­ton-based Cen­tral As­set Re­cov­ery Unit in­ves­ti­gated Ald­worth’s as­sets and found she laun­dered large sums of money in New Zealand and over­seas.

Po­lice charged Ald­worth with laun­der­ing $363,631.99. She pleaded guilty to money laun­der­ing charges and was sen­tenced to 10 months home de­ten­tion. Other as­sets were also for­feited.

Her money laun­der­ing helped oth­ers im­port metham­phetamine, po­lice said.

‘‘Metham­phetamine re­lated crimes cre­ate mas­sive so­cial harm in our com­mu­ni­ties which in turn has sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial costs for our coun­try, and we will pur­sue any prof­its de­rived from deal­ing in this drug.

The agent that sold the prop­erty - who wished to re­main anony­mous - said the prop­erty was ‘‘easy to sell’’.

They also said it was the first time they had sold a prop­erty for­feited as a re­sult of a crim­i­nal con­vic­tion.

The agent said the price was also boosted as two peo­ple bid for the prop­erty via auction.

They were fully ap­praised of how the home came on the mar­ket - and it was tested for metham­phetamine.

‘‘[There was] no ev­i­dence of any meth,’’ they said.

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