Most Read Contributor in New Zealand, September 2016
The Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation Bill will
bring New Zealand into line with international conventions and
responds to recommendations from the OECD and the US around
tightening our defences against organised crime.
Bill seeks to improve New Zealand's ability to collaborate
with international law enforcement agencies to disrupt organised
crime and to respond quickly and effectively to new criminal
activities as they emerge.
It will bring New Zealand into line with the UN Convention
against Corruption and the OECD Convention on Combating the Bribery
of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.
It will also allow implementation of the agreement with the US on
Enhancing Cooperation in Preventing and Combating Crime.
It is an omnibus bill that amends a number of different Acts and
will eventually be divided into 12 bills.
The Bill will:
amend the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of
Terrorism Act to require banks to report all international wire
transfers over $1000 and all physical cash transfers over $10,000
to the Financial Intelligence Unit of the New Zealand Police
(currently they are required to collect identity information on
these transactions but can make their own assessment on whether the
activity is suspicious and should be reported)
clarify that intent to conceal is not necessary to prove a
money laundering offence and remove the requirement that the
property laundered must be the proceeds of a crime punishable by at
least five years in prison
crack down on identity theft by, among other things, making the
sale, transfer or distribution of unlawfully obtained identity
information a criminal offence
expressly empower the Police to share personal information with
their international counterparts
make it a criminal offence for a foreign public official to
accept a bribe and for any person to accept a bribe for influencing
remove the dual criminality requirement in the Crimes Act 1961
so that New Zealand can prosecute bribery of a foreign public
official even where it is not an offence in the official's
raise the maximum prison sentence for bribery and corruption in
the private sector from two years in prison to seven years to align
it with the public sector (this will allow New Zealand to ratify
the UN Convention against Corruption, 11 years after signing
update the definition of 'crime involving dishonesty'
to include bribery and corruption offences
amend the Companies Act to ensure that companies record in a
consistent manner small facilitation payments made to speed up
processes to which the payer is already entitled
amend the Income Tax Act 2007 to ensure that bribes are not
make people-trafficking an offence within New Zealand rather
than just across borders.
Chapman Tripp comment
New Zealand is perceived in international surveys as relatively
corruption-free. There is no evidence that our enforcement
authorities have been hindered by our current anti-corruption
framework, which treats the bribery of public officials as the
serious criminal matter it is. So the Bill should be seen as an
incremental update to bring our laws into line with international
Nonetheless, the signalling effect of the Bill is important to
affirm New Zealand's commitment to international best practice.
An example is the proposed clarification in the Crimes Act that
body corporates can be held liable for the foreign public official
bribery offence. Until now this has arguably been a grey area, as
was highlighted by the OECD Working Group on Bribery in October
Changes to the anti-money laundering rules have been well
signalled and will give Police more direct oversight of potentially
suspicious transactions. Financial institutions have already been
preparing for these changes.
With the exception of the proposed requirement for companies to
record facilitation payments in their accounts, the Bill
shouldn't materially affect the substance of compliance
programmes already in place. But it should act as a prompt for
businesses to ensure that their compliance frameworks reflect best
practice, and to remind staff of applicable anti-bribery and
The information in this article is for informative purposes
only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Please contact
Chapman Tripp for advice tailored to your situation.
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In a criminal trial the charge is the foundation of the accusation & every care must be taken to see that it is not only properly framed but evidence is only tampered with respect to matters put in the charge and not the other matters.
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