11 Sep 2013

Complaint laid over seized funds

8:22 am on 11 September 2013

A New Zealander teaching in Saudi Arabia says Kiwibank acted illegally when it seized his money under terrorism legislation.

Michael Shaskey says after several enquiries he was told in July that money he had transferred from Saudi Arabia had not arrived in his Kiwibank account.

The front page of the printed legislation

Photo: RNZ

He says a complaints manager later confirmed the bank was holding the funds under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act.

Mr Shaskey told Morning Report the bank wanted his physical address but had not told him it was required.

He has complained to New Zealand's Banking Ombudsman because he does not believe the bank followed due process.

"Taking anybody's money without due process of law is a very, very serious thing to do," he says.

"If it's going to be done it should be done by a judge or somebody appointed by a judge. It should not be left up to a bank clerk with an act in one hand and a keyboard in the other."

Mr Shaskey says his money has now been released.