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Former Auckland police officer sentenced to prison after selling information to gangs

A former Auckland police officer has been sentenced to more than two years in prison after breaking his police oath by selling police information to gangs.

Source: 1 NEWS

Vili Taukolo, 30, was serving as a police officer when he unlawfully accessed information on the police's National Intelligence Application system (NIA) from February 2018 to March 25, Auckland City's district commander, superintendent Karyn Malthus, said in a statement.

Taukolo had been an informant for the criminal underworld over a period of 15 months while employed as a police constable in Auckland, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Taukolo has since resigned and is no longer employed by New Zealand Police.

He was sentenced to two years and two months in prison at the Auckland District Court.

A months-long investigation was launched and the Independent Police Conduct Authority was notified immediately after police discovered that Taukolo had breached the privacy of a large number of individuals, including some of his colleagues, by accessing the system.

The system holds information on nearly two million, or just over 40 per cent, of the New Zealand population.

Taukolo's transactions over the period were analysed individually to assess whether it was for legitimate purposes, Ms Malthus said.

"No safety concerns were evident for the vast majority of individuals searched following an analysis of these transactions," she said.

"Every officer makes an oath to abide by the police code of conduct when they join New Zealand Police and to serve the public of New Zealand.

"To break that oath is of the greatest concern to all police employees.

"The actions of this officer are disgraceful and police staff rightly feel betrayed by him.

"To say that I am disappointed in his actions is an understatement.

"He has broken not only the high level of trust we place on our own employees, but also the trust that is rightly expected of police by the public."

No other officers were found to be involved following the investigation.

A comprehensive internal review has since been carried out to examine police processes and to establish if any changes can be implemented to prevent similar offending from taking place in the future.