Police to seize supercars, bling, and $5 million cash from Auckland meth dealer
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A drug-dealing Aucklander and his wife have been ordered to hand over more than $5m of assets - including luxury cars, $1.8m in cash, vintage French wines and a pile of Louis Vuitton and Chanel handbags - to police after a judge decided they were tainted by criminal activity.
Ka Kit Yim, also known as Chris, was jailed in 2017 after he was found to be a key figure in a $40m drug trade between China and New Zealand. Police made an application to the courts to seize his assets, arguing they were "tainted property".
Investigations into the drug syndicate began after police intercepted nearly 40kg of meth hidden in granite tea trays imported from China in 2016.
Part of that consignment made its way to Yim, who was arrested on March 2 2016 and found to be in possession of 1kg of meth, worth $250,000.
He was convicted of possession for supply and sentenced to 11 years and six months in prison.
Subsequent searches of the house where he lived with his wife Chien-Hui Wu found cash and drug-dealing paraphernalia pointing to a deep involvement in the drug trade, police said.
A staggering list of the assets police wanted to seize included a $1.1 million residential property in Panmure, 12 vehicles worth $1.3m, $2.4m in cash and funds, nearly $300,000 worth of jewellery and handbags, four dozen bottles of vintage wine, and some $130,000 of profit.
Among the vehicles are a Lamborghini Gallardo, a BMW 1M Coupe, a Ferrari 458 Speciale and a Porsche Cayman GTS.
Yim and Wu are both New Zealand citizens, having arrived in the 1990s from Hong Kong and Taiwan respectively and marrying in 2005.
But Wu has claimed she knew nothing of Yim's involvement in the drug trade, and asked to retain some of the assets because to lose them would cause her "undue hardship".
Wu wanted to keep the Panmure home, which is registered in her name, Yim's Ferrari, her Porsche, half a million in cash and 42 watches, jewellery pieces, handbags and wallets that she said had "particular sentimental value".
Questions remained over Wu's knowledge of his illegal activity, including the source of their wealth.
Wu denies engaging in drug offending and says there is no evidence she was involved in money laundering, or alleged tax offending, or that she knew the source of their wealth.
But Justice Pheroze Jagose did not believe her. In his judgment, delivered today at the High Court in Auckland, the judge found Wu had not given credible evidence of where their riches had come from.
"Her blindness to Mr Yim's large deposits into their joint bank accounts, and to items connected to his offending in plain sight in their home, literally is incredible," Judge Jagose said.
"I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities the evidence is of significant criminal activity since the early 2000s, more likely than not constituted by drug offending, and associated money laundering and tax evasion," he said.
The judge said all the assets requested were clearly "tainted property". He granted the Police Commissioner's application to seize the assets - bar one, a white Chanel diamante watch worth $5000, which Wu claimed was bought in 2002 as a gift from her father.
Wu may be able to keep the watch if it can be proven she acquired it in 2002.
- NZ Herald