Money laundering accused plead not guilty

Not guilty pleas have been entered by those charged after a major money laundering investigation in which almost $10 million worth of assets were seized.

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Six people have been charged after the Auckland sting. Source: 1 NEWS

Six people appeared in the Auckland District Court this morning and were given continued name suppression.

They’ve all been told to appear in court again in December, when a date for a case review hearing and name suppression arguments will be set.

Five defendants are on bail, while one is in custody.

When police revealed the operation last month, officers labelled the investigation "significant".

Police say they found a total of $250,000 in cash and froze a further total of $727,000 in numerous bank accounts.

They also seized a number of luxury European vehicles including a $280,000 Bentley Bentayga, a $120,000 Mercedes GLS, a Porsche Cayenne and a Mercedes C Class.

On top of this, police put restraints on three properties in Remuera worth more than $7.3 million in total.

Search warrants were launched in Remuera, East Tamaki Heights, Papatoetoe and Karaka.

"Operation Menelaus" began at the start of the year.

"Money being laundered in this case is alleged to have come from various sources, including drug dealing. It is well known about the wide ranging harm these sorts of drugs have on our communities," police said when the arrests were made.

The defendants:

A 38-year-old man faces 22 charges, including 20 counts of money laundering.

A 41-year-old woman faces nine charges of money laundering.

A 65-year-old woman faces six charges of money laundering and a charge of structuring under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act.

A 35-year-old man faces three charges of money laundering, two charges relating to attempting to import a Class A and Class B drug and three firearms charges relating to unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

A 36-year-old man faces one charge of money laundering.

A 33-year-old woman faces one charge of money laundering.