The New Zealand government has reached a significant milestone with NZ$500 million ($353 million) in cash and assets seized from gangs and criminals over the past four years, Police Minister Poto Williams said on Thursday.

“Gangs should not be making money from exploiting our communities,” Williams said.

He added that the government will not tolerate organized crime and gangs and is working hard to disrupt them, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Today’s milestone furthers our commitment to hitting gangs where it hurts – their pockets,” the Minister said.

Williams claimed that in the last four years alone, approximately NZ$1.6 billion have been removed from the illicit economy.

The government will also amend the Proceeds of Crime legislation so those involved in organized crime would have to demonstrate their assets were obtained through legitimate means or lose them, the Police Minister said.

–IANS

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