DIA warns Hills Real Estate over breaching anti-money laundering law
An Auckland real estate company has been given a formal warning by the Department of Internal Affairs for slacking in efforts to prevent money laundering.
It said Hills Real Estate failed to do its due diligence when monitoring customers for suspicious activity and keeping adequate records, breaching the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML and CFT) Act 2009.
The department issued the warning on 8 May, and said the company would be closely monitored while it addressed these issues.
AML and CFT Group director Mike Stone said real estate was used by criminals to launder large sums of money.
In 2021, 100 properties worth a total of $73.7 million were seized by police, up from 51 properties worth $55.7m the previous year.
Stone said this was the second time the department had given a warning to a real estate company in the past two months.
"Real estate agencies should take note of the two recent warnings and expect stronger action in the future from DIA for serious breaches of the AML/CFT Act," he said.
Hills Real Estate has been approached for comment.