The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has issued a formal warning to real estate agent Arizto over non-compliance regarding money laundering.
In a statement, the DIA said Arizto had failed to meet their obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act.
“Arizto failed to meet their AML/CFT obligations relating to the establishment, implementation, and maintenance of an AML/CFT programme and failed to conduct customer due diligence as required by the AML/CFT Act,” the statement read.
The realtor isn’t being accused of money laundering or financing of terrorism but is being asked to “rectify all areas of non-compliance and will continue to be closely monitored by DIA”.
The DIA’s Mike Stone, director of anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism, said real estate is often used to launder money, so companies need to have a “robust process” in place to stop this.
“Real estate agents must have robust processes in place to manage and mitigate the risk of being misused by criminals for money laundering,” he said.
“Non-compliance is unacceptable in New Zealand’s anti-money laundering system. As a supervisor, DIA has a responsibility to act on non-compliance to contribute to a robust AML/CFT system and ensure New Zealanders can trust the integrity of the real estate sector in Aotearoa.”
This is the second warning issued to a real estate agent since the AML/CFT act applied to the industry in 2019.
Since the warning was issued, DIA says the company “has demonstrated commitment towards improving its AML/CFT programme following the issuance of the DIA’s inspection report”.