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Police updates – Collingwood robbery, Operation Deans awards, crypto investment warning

Police updates on crimes and investigations for 23 May 2022.

Name release – fatal crash, Longlands

Police can now name the person who died following a crash on Railway Road South, Longlands on Saturday 14 May.

She was Myrah Bolten, 20, of Hastings.

Police extend their sympathies to her family and friends.

Enquiries into the circumstances of the crash are ongoing.

Operation Deans Awards to be held in Christchurch

Police will tomorrow begin honouring staff and others involved in the response to the 2019 Christchurch terror attacks through its Operation Deans Awards.

Police staff as well as Muslim community members, civilians, and other organisations will be recognised in the Operation Deans Awards’ first and largest ceremony in Christchurch Tuesday morning.

The private ceremony will be attended by Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, Police Minister Hon Poto Williams, Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Ngāi Tahu and senior members of the Muslim community.

“The events of 15 March 2019 have left an indelible mark on the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people here and around the world.

“The victims, their loved ones, survivors and members of the Muslim community remain front of mind during occasions such as this,” Commissioner Coster says.

“We commemorate them as we honour those who displayed exceptional courage, skill, leadership and humanity on the day as well as the weeks and months that followed.

“The Police response, known as Operation Deans, was the largest response and investigation operation in New Zealand Police history.

“Now is the time to recognise the efforts of Police staff and others who worked tirelessly to save lives, ensure public safety and hold a terrorist to account.

“It is also timely to acknowledge the actions of so many people in the community and the large number of organisations and groups who contributed in so many ways. We are thankful to them all.”

Fifty-nine staff will tomorrow be presented with a range of Commissioner’s Awards.

As Operation Deans involved Police staff from across the country, citations will be awarded to approximately 3,800 staff during private district-based award ceremonies over the coming months.

Each recipient of an Operation Deans Award will receive a green and black ribbon designed in consultation with Muslim representatives.

Arrest made following robbery – Collingwood Street, Nelson

Nelson Police have arrested 22-year-old man following a robbery in Nelson on Saturday.

Police were called about 3.15pm on Saturday after a man allegedly entered a commercial premises on Collingwood Street and demanded items, before fleeing on a motorbike along with an associate.

The 22-year-old is due to appear in the Nelson District Court today on several charges including aggravated robbery and unlawfully taking a motorcycle.

Police are following active lines of inquiry to locate the second offender.

Caution advised around cryptocurrency investment schemes

Police are reminding potential investors to be wary following numerous reports in recent weeks of people falling victim to a cryptocurrency investment scams.

Detective Sergeant James Robson, of the Auckland City Financial Crime Unit, says Police have been assessing reports involving a company calling itself “Quwiex Limited” that was promising victims high daily returns through their platform.

“This company was registered in New Zealand in late September 2021 through information which has now been established as falsified,” says Detective Sergeant Robson.

Police have made enquiries into the supposed director of this company, including a supplied New Zealand address.

“Unfortunately, the identity documents are fake and there is no connection to the address supplied,” says Detective Sergeant Robson.

“No actual links to New Zealand have been able to be identified, which means those involved in this scam are based offshore.”

Detective Sergeant Robson says the victims have unwittingly become involved in a scheme that bears all the hallmarks of a Ponzi scheme.

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment scheme in which the operator pays returns on investments derived from new investors, rather than from legitimate investment profits.

“In the case of ‘Quwiex Limited’ victims initially received interest accruals on their investment and were able to withdraw funds.

“In mid-April, this scheme suspended withdraws citing a website upgrade. However, the website was deactivated on the date the upgrade was supposed to be complete.”

Investors’ funds had disappeared.

“Police acknowledge the financial distress falling victim to one of these schemes can cause,” says Detective Sergeant Robson.

“Unfortunately, as these scammers are based offshore the likelihood of recovering their losses are quite low.”

Police are advising victims of the scam not to engage with companies or persons offering the prospect of recovering their funds.

“In our experience these services, which requires victims to pay, have not achieved any positive results.”

Police continue to advise prospective investors to be vigilant to potential scams. The Financial Markets Authority provides helpful advice on its website to help avoid falling victim to online investments scams.

It also has advice on what to do if you are in the unfortunate position of becoming a victim of such a scam. Please visit the Financial Markets Authority for more information.

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