Privacy concerns raised as government cracks down on money laundering

There are concerns that a proposed anti-money laundering laws will be an intrusion of privacy for many Pacific Island families who send money home to their families every month.

It's a common tradition for many Islander families, and could make them a target for the police as the government cracks down on money laundering. 

From November 1, banks will be required to hand over a customer's name, address, phone number, and IP address if their transaction exceeds the new limits. 

For international transfers that's above $1,000 and any cash transactions within New Zealand above $10,000. 

Police estimate that more than $1.5 billion is laundered through New Zealand bank transfers each year. 

"The question we have to ask is, can the police be trusted in relation to this?" said human rights lawyer Michael Bott. 

"Do we need to have this level of intrusion into people's private lives?

However, Prime Minister Bill English said the changes aren't set in stone and there will be an opportunity to scrutinise the legislation more. 

International wire transfers of $1,000 and domestic transactions greater than $10,000 will soon be reported to police. Source: 1 NEWS



Child predator jailed for luring Australian girl to US

An American child predator who built a relationship with a 16-year-old Australian girl over Facebook and then enticed her to fly to Los Angeles so he could sexually abuse her has been sentenced to 35 years' jail in New York.

Sean Price, 40, from Queens, New York, began communicating with the girl in 2016 on Facebook, and in their daily messages he openly discussed the girl's young age and expressed his desire to have sex with her.

Price initially discussed obtaining a fake passport for the girl so she could fly to the US without her parents' knowledge, and talked about imitating her father to get her through airport security.

When the girl told him she did not need parental permission to fly internationally Price responded in a chat they would soon be laughing at her parents and asked: "So you coming to papa?"

US Homeland Security Investigations special agent-in-charge Angel Melendez said Price took advantage of the girl.

"Now a convicted sexual predator, Sean Price admittedly lured a teenage girl from Australia to Queens, taking advantage of her young spirit and susceptibility," Melendez said.

In March, 2017, Price wired the girl more than $US900 (NZ$1,346) to purchase a plane ticket, and a few weeks later the girl flew on a round trip ticket from Sydney to Los Angeles.

Price was waiting for her in Los Angeles and they hired a rental car and drove across the US to Price's home in Jamaica, Queens.

Price admitted they had sex during the cross-country trip and while in New York until a search involving NSW Police, Australian Federal Police and US authorities tracked the girl down four weeks later at his home in Queens.

The girl's mother recounted in a submission to the US District Court the trauma her daughter suffered and how her family continued to struggle with the aftermath of Price's actions.

Price was found guilty at a December 2017 trial in New York of charges including interstate and foreign enticement to engage in sexual activity and attempted sexual exploitation of a child.

Richard Donoghue, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, expressed his appreciation to NSW Police, the AFP and NYPD for their assistance in the investigation and recovering the missing girl.

"Sean Price preyed upon the vulnerabilities of a young teenage girl, luring her across the world and away from her home for his own illicit purposes," Donoghue said.

The new courts in Auckland and Whangārei have been active for the past 18 months.
Source: 1 NEWS

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Mount Ruapehu crater death prompts warning

A second death at Mount Ruapehu's crater lake in 12 months has prompted calls for people to take extra care at the top of the mountain.

A man's body was pulled from the lake by members of the group he was with yesterday afternoon.

Another man died at the lake one year ago.

Ruapehu District Mayor Don Cameron said the snow was becoming soft around this time of year, and people needed to be extra vigilant at high altitudes.

"I understand it's a skiier that's fallen in, but also apparently someone climbing also slipped on the ice and lost their ice axe," he said.

Mr Cameron said people venturing near the crater lake should take extra advice before heading up, or stick to well known trails.

Yesterday's death is being referred to the coroner.

An American tourist also died while skiing on Mount Aspiring yesterday.

Police said the 35-year-old man was skiing downhill toward the Bonar Glacier when he fell and died.

Another person they were skiing with attempted first aid but the man died at the scene.

An investigation into his death is now underway.

rnz.co.nz

Good news for skiers and snow boarders as a $10 million grant helps the project get off the ground.
Source: 1 NEWS

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Plane substance drop ruled out in mystery school illness

The 10 students from Carterton's South End primary school that were hospitalised due to an unusual smell will be back at school tomorrow.

Police now believe they can rule out initial reports that a plane flying overhead may have dropped a toxic substance on the school. Source: 1 NEWS

Multiple students fell ill on Friday afternoon following reports of an unpleasant smell.

Originally the smell was thought to have come from a plane that flew near the school but police have ruled that out after speaking with the pilot.

South End board of trustees chairman Brian Chin said it will be business as usual tomorrow for everyone at the school, including the children who fell ill.

"All children were discharged on Friday evening. They were sent home with information about what to do if they feel unwell again.

"They have contact numbers on hand if they feel unwell again and at this stage we envisage all those children will be at school again on Monday," Mr Chin said.

Wairarapa Area Commander Inspector Scott Miller said the police were turning their focus to neigbouring properties and the surrounding area to find the source of the smell.

"There will be a couple of people in the [neigbouring] houses that we haven't spoken to and we'll be looking closely at the area to see whether there's anything in our police intelligence systems that may indicate where this smell may have come from."


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New charges revealed: Jobseeker with 'Devast8' across his face is back before the courts

A man with 'Devast8' tattooed across his face, who last year opened up about his job struggles as he tried to turn his life around, is back before the courts.

Mark Cropp - also known as 'DEVAST8' due to his distinctive facial tattoo.
Mark Cropp - also known as 'DEVAST8' due to his distinctive facial tattoo. Source: Screenshot/NZ Herald

Mark Cropp, 21, will face two charges of assaulting a female and threatening to kill.

The NZ Herald reports Mr Cropp will face a judge alone trial in November.

Mark Cropp became internationally known last year after he approached the Herald about not being able to get a job because of his inked face.

He said his brother tattooed the nickname 'Devast8' on his face during a heavy night drinking in jail.

On his release from jail, Mr Cropp wanted to get off the employment benefit so he could put food on the table for his family and to do that he needed a job.

But, employers didn’t take him seriously.

"One employment place said to me 'I wouldn't employ you with that on your face, I wouldn't even take a second look at you'," he told the Herald last year.

"I've had other people that just shrugged and laughed at me."

Last year the 21-year-old revealed his regret over the tattoo., saying:  "Once it was started, I thought, I can't go back on it now," he said of the night his brother tattooed the word on his face,

"I wish I had stopped while the outline was there to be quite honest."

Despite the regrets he initially wanted to keep the tattoo and hoped potential employers could look passed it.

However, after his Herald interview the story went viral and he decided to have it removed.

He accepted an offer from Sacred Laser in Kingsland to have it removed for free and he attended one appointment but did not return for further work.

New Zealand Herald