Thursday, 28 November 2013 - 8:54am |
National News

Convicted Whangamata drug dealer loses battle to save assets

2 min read

Police are celebrating another asset recovery victory following a profit forfeiture order of $1.6 million over assets previously owned by Waihi drug dealer Scott Warren Filer.

In February 2012 Filer was sentenced to 17 years in jail for manufacturing methamphetamine.

On Tuesday, in the Hamilton High Court, Justice Gilbert ruled that Mr Filer had benefited to the value of $1,592,656.21 from his offending and his assets should be forfeited to the Crown.

Waikato Asset Recovery Manager Craig Hamilton said the assets forfeited include property in Waihi, Whangamata and Northland; in addition to several vehicles and a lucrative marina berth.

“Mr Filer purchased the berth at Whangamata marina through a third party for over $80,000 in 2008,” Mr Hamilton said.

“That prime nautical asset is now valued at $120,000. All of Mr Filer’s asset including the marina berth will be sold with the profits returning to the community.”

Property forfeited by Mr Filer includes Waihi real estate value at $235,000, a parcel of land on the Otahu River in Whangamata with a market value of $275,000 and a section in Northland worth $75,000.

Mr Hamilton said since the Criminal (Proceeds) Recovery Act was passed in 2009 Police’s ability to target and hurt organised crime has increased dramatically.

"The stripping of assets is sending a clear message to criminals and potential criminals that they should not hope to live on an income funded by criminal activity," Mr Hamilton said.

"The Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act is also encouraging members of the public to continue to assist Police in their on-going investigations."

In excess of $135.7 million of criminal assets are currently subject to Restraining Orders while over $30 million of assets have already been forfeited to the Crown.  

Earlier this week Prime Minister John Key announced $3 million worth of community funding paid for by the asset recovery programme.

Mr Hamilton said the removal of assets from criminals requires the specialist skills of a range of staff from within the Police and other government agencies.

“Mr Filer’s conviction and subsequent asset forfeiture is testament to the hard work put in by OFCANZ and district staff in Auckland, Waikato and the Coromandel,” Mr Hamilton said.

"The stripping of assets which have been illegally gained is a vital preventative measure because it sends a message to those on the cusp of offending that crime ultimately does not pay."


For more information please contact Kevin Sinnott on (027) 705 0341