NZ Comanchero trial: ‘Huge explosion of cash deposits’ into defendants’ accounts

A financial analyst has described “huge explosions” of cash deposits going in to some of the defendants bank accounts who are standing trial connected to the Comanchero MC.

The money laundering and drug trial against Comanchero president Pasilika Naufahu, Connor Michael Tamati Clausen, accountant Wiwini Himi Hakaraia, a media personality who has name suppression, and a woman also with name suppression is in its third week at the High Court at Auckland.

The five were arrested following a series of raids across Auckland in April 2019 which saw more than $3.7 million in assets seized along with luxury cars, motorbikes, luxury luggage and jewellery.

On Tuesday, Nicola Endean, a forensic accountant for the police, continued giving evidence.

The forensic accountant analysed the finances of all the defendants and associates to determine what assets were purchased or acquired with alleged criminal proceeds.

Endean also analysed how much legitimate income individuals or companies had earned by obtaining banking data and coding it into categories.

The court has heard how there were a number of trusts set up and various bank accounts that were used to allegedly launder money to then purchase luxury cars and property.

The accountant told the court how Naufahu arrived in New Zealand and opened a bank account with zero dollars in.

Over a three year period, from March 2016, a total of $1.1 million was deposited and about $1.095 million withdrawn, the court was told.

Endean said a large number of payments from Hakaraia’s bussiness accounts were used to transfer money into the concreting business, the media personality’s bank account and the lawyer, Andrew Simpson’s account.

Simpson was jailed earlier this year for laundering $2.2 million for the club, Naufahu and other associates.

That money was then used to purchase various luxury vehicles by the defendants, sometimes in the names of their partners.

A total amount of $500,000 was transferred from one of Hakaraia’s accounts to Simpson in a matter of weeks in October/November 2018, the court heard.

Hakaraia is the sole director for HKS Investments Ltd and Three Little Birds Childcared and Education Ltd, Endean said.

From January 2017, more than $668,000 cash deposits were made into the two accounts and Hakaraia’s account, the court heard.

From January 2017 to April 2019 just under $580,000 was withdrawn, it was said.

When police searched Hakaraia’s house, they found trust documents for the “Kiwi Trust”, which was the trust under Tyson Daniels’ name, Endean said.

Endean also told the court a joint bank account held by the media personality and his partner was relavtively static before a “huge explosion of deposits” in 2018 and 2019.

The court previously heard how a concreting business was used as a disguise to pay salaries to the group and the media personality listed as the director.

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Source: Stuff