Catrin Owen- Stuff
The president of the Comanchero Motorcycle Club has been found guilty of money laundering and conspiring to supply pseudoephedrine, a precursor to methamphetamine.
After more than four weeks, the High Court trial against president Pasilika Naufahu, Connor Michael Tamati Clausen and a woman with name suppression has come to an end.
The trio were arrested following a series of raids across Auckland in April 2019 in which more than $3.7 million in assets was seized along with luxury cars, motorbikes, high-end luggage and jewellery.
On Wednesday, after a day and a half of deliberations, the jury found Naufahu guilty of two charges of money laundering in relation to the purchase of a Bentley and Ford Ranger.
The club boss was also found guilty, along with Clausen, of conspiring to supply pseudoephedrine.
The woman was found guilty of laundering nearly $300,000 for the Comancheros, which was used to purchase luxury cars.
Justice Graham Lang convicted the three defendants and will sentence Naufahu on November 24.
Clausen and the woman will be sentenced on December 9.
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A media personality, who has name suppression, and accountant Wiwini Himi Hakaraia were originally on trial alongside the trio.
However, they had their charges of money laundering and participating in an organised criminal group formally discharged partway through the trial.
Naufahu also had a charge of conspiring to import a class A drug dropped.
The Comanchero members and associates were arrested in April 2019 after a massive police search.
In total, 18 were arrested, with three still set to go to trial in the district court next year.
Lawyer Andrew Simpson and the club’s vice-president Tyson Daniels were among those arrested.
Simpson was jailed for two years and nine months after admitting laundering more than $2 million for the gang.
Daniels was sentenced to four years and eight months after he pleaded guilty to participating in an organised criminal group and nine counts of money laundering.
Ahead of the trial, another two club members – Jarome Fonua and Vetekina Naufahu – also pleaded guilty. They will be sentenced later this month on money laundering and drugs charges.