Home' Greymouth Star : March 2nd 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, March 2, 2015 - 7
Embattled internet mogul Kim
Dotcom has experienced another
setback after a United States court
barred him from fighting the
seizure of assets.
Dotcom’s lawyer Ira Rothken
said today the new order from a
US District Court in Virginia was
“off ensive” to the mogul and to other
New Zealanders, who Rothken
said could lose their homes if they
opposed US Government claims.
The ruling covered all of the assets
and money the US seized from
Dotcom or had frozen.
All of the relevant assets were in
either New Zealand or Hong Kong.
The assets, according to the
United States, allegedly constituted
proceeds of the “conspiracy’s
criminal copyright infringement. ”
The US also claimed the assets
were used or intended to be used
to commit alleged copyright
infringements or money laundering.
The seized assets included over a
dozen Hong Kong bank accounts,
one of which in 2012 had a balance
of about $6,283,767.
The total value of Dotcom’s assets
is thought to be around $60 million.
The value of restrained assets in
New Zealand was reportedly about
The US has alleged the ‘Mega
Conspiracy ’ stashed away millions
of US dollars in criminal proceeds.
According to court papers, the
claimants argued the Alexandria,
Virginia court did not have
jurisdiction over property located
outside the US.
United States District Judge
Liam O’Grady had bad news for
more people — alleged ‘Mega
Conspiracy ’ members Finn Batato,
Julius Bencko, Sven Echternach,
Bram van der Kolk and Mathias
Ortmann were also affected.
So were five companies the court
said were linked to Dotcom and
“ Because the court has disentitled
the claimants, the court also strikes
and denied their motion to dismiss
the forfeiture complaint ... ” Judge
O’Grady said in the order released
However, the Virginia court
has not yet ruled on a claim from
the mogul’s estranged wife Mona
Local accounts with ASB, ANZ,
BNZ, HSBC and Westpac were
also seized in 2012, as was Dotcom’s
Coatesville mansion, about 22
vehicles, four jetskis, several tv sets,
and a set of photos thought to be
worth more than $100,000.
Mr Rothken said on Twitter the
court in Alexandria, Virginia, ruled
Dotcom was a fugitive and was not
entitled “to defend assets because
he is lawfully fighting extradition”
from New Zealand to the United
Dotcom is wanted in America on
criminal copyright charges.
Meanwhile, Pay Pal has stopped
processing customer payments for
Dotcom’s company Mega.
The company reacted to the
news by saying a US Senator
pressured Visa and Master Card
to stop dealing with certain cloud
computing companies — and
alleged the credit card giants in turn
pressured Pay Pal to stop providing
payment ser vices to Mega.
The company said in a statement
it would “not compromise its end-
to-end user controlled encryption
model and is proud to not be part
of the USA business network that
discriminates against legitimate
international businesses.” Dotcom
tweeted that he would now consider
using Bitcoin as a replacement for
“The obvious assumption here is
that Megaupload’s controversial
past as a ser vice used for pirating
copyrighted content has bled over
into the new ser vice, simply named
Mega, and people are now storing
illegal content on its ser vers,” the
Gizmodo website reported.
A climber rescued after he got stuck
on Mount Taranaki overnight yesterday,
was left at the summit by his mates.
The man and three friends climbed
the mountain on Saturday, reaching the
summit at 4.30pm.
Senior sergeant Thomas McIntyre said
three of the group decided to descend
the mountain soon after but the man
wanted to stay longer at the summit.
“Three of the group left him on the
summit and returned. They got off the
mountain safely and without incident,”
Mr McIntyre said.
“The male (who) remained got into
trouble when he started down a bit
later. He descended down a steep part
of the mountain and got lost and stuck.
He got to the point where he could
not go up, down, left or right.” The
alarm was raised when the man made
contact with his friends at 8.45am
Mr McIntyre said “balmy ” conditions
in New Plymouth in the last
few days meant temperatures on
the mountain would not have been
But, the man was lucky he was not
injured or worse.
“Luckily the weather has been kind
to us for the last few days and it would
not have been too uncomfortable up
there for him.” Police worked with the
Taranaki Rescue Helicopter and a local
alpine rescue team to locate the man.
The search was hindered due to cloud,
and the fact the lost climber was “quite
“Eventually an alpine rescue members
was winched onto the mountain and sat
with the man for some time. Another
team with the appropriate ropes
and equipment managed to get him
out of his predicament,” Mr McIntyre
“He basically walked off the mountain
after that.” The climber was heading
back to New Plymouth.
Mr McIntyre said there was a valuable
lesson to be learned from the incident.
“From these sorts of events there is
always something to take away,” he said.
“If you go up as a group make
sure you come down as a group.
It is about safety in numbers.”
— NZ M E-New Zealand Herald
New Zealanders should be wary
of a company purporting to be
from California and offering high-
the Financial Markets
These claims should sound alarm-
bells for the public, says FMA director
of compliance Elaine Campbell.
The company, Eco Investments Group,
regularly advertises in New Zealand
newspapers offering guarantees and
high-return investments for small
amount up front.
The FMA warns anyone dealing
with them to exercise extreme caution
before obtaining any financial services,
or buying a financial products.
The company is not registered or
licensed to offer financial ser vices in
Eco Investments Group operates
two websites, one claims to be run out
Lamont, California and the other in
One said returns are guaranteed in 14
“O ur ability of making profit is backed
by real investments from the actual
market and there is 100% assurance on
your investment,” it said.
The FMA said if a deal sounds
too good to be true it probably is:
“ We don’t want consumers to lose
money unnecessarily when there are
well-regulated products and ser vices
available from reputable providers in
New Zealand,” Campbell said.
— N Z ME -New Zealand Herald
Police warn of investment scam
left on summit
by his mates
Police are investigating a suspected
arson at the same house where a man
was killed last month.
Emergency ser vices were called to the
Ormond Street property in Woodville
about 1am this morning after a fire was
Police said the property was “extensively
damaged” and could not rule out a link
between the death and the fire.
Last month, a homicide investigation
was launched when James Whatuira, 49,
was found dead at the property. He did
not live at the house.
A post-mortem examination of the
body found Whatuira sustained a single
fatal gunshot wound.
Earlier this week, police charged four
men over the shooting.
A 41-year-old Nelson man was
charged with his murder. Three
Dannevirke men aged 29, 35, and 45
have been charged with being a party to
“ Whilst a link between Mr Whatuira’s
death and the suspected arson is
not established at this time, police
consider this to be a strong possibility,”
said detective sergeant Johnny
“ We want to speak to anyone that has
any information about this suspected
arson, including reports of any suspicious
behaviour witnessed in the area during
the early hours of this morning,” Mr
A fire investigator and police and were
examining the property today.
— NZ ME -Herald on Sunday
Police investigate arson
at murder house
Four women have been injured, one
critically, in a road crash in the lower
Kaimai area in the Bay of Plenty
Emergency ser vices were called to
the accident at the intersection of State
highway 29 and McLaren Falls Road
Initial reports said up to seven vehicles
were involved, however emergency staff
later said two vehicles had crashed.
A St John spokesman said the injured
women were believed to be in their early
One was flown to Waikato Hospital
with critical injuries.
Two were seriously injured and taken
by road to Tauranga Hospital.
The fourth woman had moderate
injuries and was also taken to Tauranga
Hospital, the spokesman said.
A witness said the accident had caused
traffic to back-up in the area.
“The falls are very popular today as
the dam has been released for ‘flow day’
white water rafting and canoeing,” he
At one point, traffic was at a standstill.
— NZ M E-New Zealand Herald
Four injured in crash
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