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DIA issues formal warning to Arizto Limited for Anti-Money Laundering non-compliance

2 June 2023

Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has issued a formal warning to real estate agent Arizto Limited (trading as Arizto) under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT 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.

Arizto are not alleged to be involved in money laundering or the financing of terrorism but are required to take immediate action to rectify all areas of non-compliance and will continue to be closely monitored by DIA.

“Real estate is used by criminals to launder money, domestically and internationally. Real estate agents must have robust processes in place to manage and mitigate the risk of being misused by criminals for money laundering” says Mike Stone, Director AML/CFT, DIA.

“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.”

Arizto, who employ around 150 staff that sell residential properties throughout New Zealand, has demonstrated commitment towards improving its AML/CFT programme following the issuance of the DIA’s inspection report.

This is DIA’s second formal warning issued to a real estate agent since the AML/CFT Act began applying to real estate agents in January 2019.

“DIA takes proportional action to address non-compliance, ranging from education and guidance to civil penalties and prosecution depending on the scale and significance of breaches.”

The AML/CFT Act established a system to detect and deter money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and to maintain and enhance New Zealand’s international reputation while contributing to public confidence in the financial system.

The formal warning to Arizto was issued on 12 April 2023 under section 80 of the AML/CFT Act.

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Media Desk
Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs
Mobile: +64 27 535 8639