New Zealand strengthens law on organised crime, graft

Wellington: Tougher measures to tackle trans-national organised crime and corruption were passed by New Zealand lawmakers on Wednesday.

The Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation Bill introduced a range of measures on money laundering, bribery and drug-related crime, Xinhua quoted Justice Minister Amy Adams as saying in a statement.

“The bill keeps New Zealand in step with international best practices in efforts to crack down on this growing problem, both here and abroad,” said Adams.

“It will also allow authorities to work more closely with their international counterparts to strengthen our response to serious trans-national crimes.”

The new law would require banks to report all international wire transfers over 1,000 NZ dollars ($666) and all physical cash transactions of 10,000 NZ dollars ($6,656) or more to police.

It also accords the police power to share information with international counterparts, strengthens the foreign bribery offence and raises penalties for bribery and corruption in the private sector.

“These changes reflect New Zealand’s policy of zero-tolerance to organised crime and corruption, and will bolster our role and reputation as world leaders in this area,” said Adams.