New Zealand Police Seize $4.3 Million in Crypto From Alleged Online Pirate

Michael LaVere
  • 23 Nov 2019

New Zealand authorities have seized around NZ$6.7 million (roughly USD 4.3 million) in cryptocurrency from a suspect who was allegedly involved in pirating movies illegally in the United States. 

According to a report published on November 23 by local news outlet the New Zealand Herald, the New Zealand national police managed to recover $4.3 million in crypto and an additional $700,000 in bank funds from the alleged suspect Jaron David McIvor.

McIvor, a 31-year-old Hamilton-based software programmer, was suspected of money laundering after receiving millions of dollar from an alleged online movie-streaming service that had built with his help.

McIvor’s funds were seized under the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act (CPRA), which is a civil-based process where a High Court must first determine if there are "reasonable grounds" to believe that an individual had received the money through "significant criminal activity". 

Detective Senior Sergeant Keith Kay, the Head of the Asset Recovery Unit in Waikato, said that his team was originally tipped off by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS):

He commented:

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.

McIvor’s lawyer says his client is denying these money laundering allegations.

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