More than $314,000 worth of assets have been forfeited under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act following the sentencing of members of a syndicate involved in serious drug offences in Palmerston North earlier this year.
On 9 February 2018 Richard John McPhail was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court on charges of Unlawful Possession of Firearms, Possessing Methamphetamine and Cannabis for Supply and Possession of Cocaine. McPhail received a sentence of six years imprisonment.
Running alongside his criminal charges were applications in the Palmerston North High Court pursuant to the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act. Those applications sought forfeiture of assets identified and seized during the arrest and search of McPhail and his associates.
On 8 June 2018, the High Court in Palmerston North granted the forfeiture of property belonging to McPhail to the value of $254,306, which included cash totalling $219,306 and two vehicles.
This outcome followed the forfeiture of cash totalling $60,225, that was seized from McPhail's co-accused.
In total, assets valued at $314,531 have been forfeited to the Crown.
“This is an excellent outcome for the Palmerston North community,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Brent Murray of the Central Asset Recovery Unit.
“Manawatu Police and the Central Asset Recovery Unit have held to account the people involved in the widespread distribution of methamphetamine, and other controlled drugs, in the Manawatu region.
"We have removed a drug distribution network with the aim of protecting the community and reducing as much harm as possible from the consumption of controlled drugs.
“The Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act has also been used effectively in recovering criminal proceeds and preventing criminals from reinvesting the proceeds back into crime and causing more harm in the community. As well as removing personal profit from the sale of controlled drugs.
“The message is clear, if any person attempts to profit from crime they risk lengthy terms of imprisonment and the loss of their assets,” Detective Senior Sergeant Murray warns.
"Police encourages the community to report suspicious financial activities and anyone who appears to be accumulating wealth and assets with no apparent legitimate means."
Issued by Police Media Centre