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Gang boss to forfeit $1.17m in assets

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/08/2016 .

Police say securing the forfeiture of $1.17 million in assets from a senior Mongrel Mob member found not guilty of money laundering represents a significant decision.

A High Court judgment means Valentine Nicholas, from the gang's Maketu chapter in Bay of Plenty, has to forfeit assets that include a forestry block and property.

The judgment come after two criminal trials in which Mr Holmes faced charges of money laundering. The first trial resulted in a hung jury, while second ended in Mr Nicholas being found not guilty.

Detective Inspector Paul Hampton says the High Court judgment is a reminder that the absence of a criminal conviction does not prohibit the successful forfeiture of assets under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act.

"Police believe the forfeiture of these assets will have a significant impact on preventing harm in the Bay of Plenty community by ensuring profits from criminal activity cannot be reinvested into future criminal activity," he said.

Justice Anne Hinton, in her decision, found that Mr Nicholas could not show evidence of a legitimate source of income for a number of years.

Instead, the judge found Mr Nicholas had an interest or control over the assets in question and that the assets were derived from significant criminal activity.

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