News from NZ Police
A 33-year-old Upper Hutt man has been sentenced to 30 months jail after pleading guilty in the Porirua District Court to 20 fraud-related charges and obtaining $27,300.
In the Porirua District Court today, Tai Te Karu of Upper Hutt admitted the 20 charges which included four charges of altering a document with intent to defraud, five charges of using a document for pecuniary advantage, four charges of using a document to gain other information and six charges of obtaining a document.
Constable Nathan Dickey of Kapiti-Mana Police said that Te Karu had been accused of entering nine banks in the North Island between the 13 and 29th August. These included ANZ branches in Paraparaumu, Waikanae, Palmerston North and Pahiatua, Kiwi Bank branches in Waikanae, Otaki and Auckland, an ASB branch in Paraparaumu and a Westpac branch in Levin using stolen New Zealand drivers’ licences that he had modified in an attempt to obtain personal account information and funds from the accounts of the licence holders.
Te Karu was successful in obtaining $27,300 from three personal bank accounts and several ATM machines in the Wellington district and attempted to obtain a further $5120 but was unsuccessful.
Police were alerted to his offending on 27 August after a staff member at the ANZ branch in Paraparaumu became suspicious of his behaviour while in the branch.
Te Karu was arrested three days later at an address in Merton St, Upper Hutt, and he has been remanded in custody since. He has also pleaded guilty to one charge of breaching his parole release conditions.
Constable Nathan Dickey says “During the investigation into this offending it was discovered that tradesmen working on building sites were the targets. Drivers’ licences and bank cards were stolen during the day as their vehicles were not always visible and in most cases insecure”.
“With the prison sentence of Te Karu it is hoped it would deter other criminals from attempting to fraudulently use modified drivers’ licences and other forms of identification to obtain account information and funds from personal bank accounts”.
“The security our banks have in place and the procedures their staff follow these days it is almost certain that the offender will be identified and arrested”.