Shane Tamihana, also known as Shane Thompson, was imprisoned in 2018 for 13 years. Photo/NZME
A big methamphetamine dealer and high-stakes poker player registered him under the name John Doe to avoid getting caught by the police. was unsuccessful.
Shane Tamihana also had a home in Flaxmere, Hastings, in the name of a long-term gambling buddy. I lost it too.
This week the Supreme Court ordered forfeiture of ute, home, cash and bank deposits totaling more than $90,000 obtained through Tamihana’s criminal activities, under the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act.
The law allows police to hunt down assets that criminals have amassed through their wrongdoings and apply for their confiscation to the Crown.
Tamihana, also known as Shane Thompson, was imprisoned for 13 years in 2018 on charges of handling methamphetamine. He is not eligible to be considered for parole before November 2024.
At the time of his sentencing, he was described as the top man in the organized crime network that pumped $4.2 million worth of meth into the Hawk’s Bay area over an 11-month period in 2016 and 2017.
Police found an additional 2.6 kilograms of drugs at the home of his partner in crime, Petra Gamelin, and more than $170,000 in total in cash at the two men’s homes.
When he’s not dealing drugs, Tamihana has been a huge hit on the gaming tables, winning the main event at the Sky City Casino Festival of Poker in 2016.
Reportedly earned over $100,000 gambling over two years, he was known for his aggressive play and habit of chanting “Later Bo” as he forced his opponents to withdraw.
But now the police asset recovery unit has outdone him, as they pursue the fortunes he gained from his criminal activities.
The latest seizure comes on top of a string of seizures in 2018, which seized five cars and $130,000 from Tamihana and Jamelen, who are currently serving 11 years and three months in prison.
Detective Sgt. Alex MacDonald of the Asset Recovery Unit acknowledges that the final forfeiture of Tamihana’s winnings this week was “a long time ago.”
But he said they demonstrated the unit’s ability to “work across layers to identify hidden assets in the names of candidates on behalf of criminals.”
The Flaxmere house was held in the name of Tamihana’s longtime colleague and fellow gambler, Michael Allison.
But Judge David Jindal found that it was “probably” that the house was purchased in Allison’s name on behalf of Tamihana, and thus was a “polluted property” subject to forfeiture.
MacDonald said the actions targeting Tamehana were aimed more broadly at organized criminal groups.
“Mr. Tamihana is associated with the Mongrel Mob, and his offense involved a number of rectified members, some of whom also had their property confiscated by the Crown,” he said.
“The Asset Recovery Unit will continue to target organized criminal groups in the Hawk’s Bay community and seize their illegally acquired money and assets.”
Regarding a 2006 Toyota Hilux under the John Doe name, MacDonald said it was not uncommon to see vehicles registered under aliases in an effort to avoid confiscation.
Often, he said, they are registered in the name of a family member, or simply left in the name of the previous owner. Sometimes people know their name has been used to register a criminal’s car, and sometimes they don’t.
However, MacDonald said he saw a few more cars registered under made-up names.
Examples include “B Power” and “Jack Pott”.