Monday, May 30, 2016

New Zealand is a haven for corrupt money

That's the obvious conclusion of this morning's Panama Papers story, showing that former Kazakhstan Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin appears to be using a New Zealand trust to secretly control his looted assets. Kazhegeldin was convicted of corruption after he left office, and he failed to convince even his criminal lawyers, Mossack-Fonseca, that his money was honestly acquired, so there's a strong case that the assets controlled through his New Zealand trust are proceeds of crime. Which invites the question: why doesn't the New Zealand government seize them under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009? Or are asset forfeiture laws only for the little guy, not for corrupt former politicians?