The Yan/Liu settlement

I have no idea whether the Wiliam Yan/Bill Liu settlement is a good thing or not. Perhaps it’s pragmatic, but it has certainly raised a few eyebrows.

NZ Herald editorial: Yan settlement little comfort to most Kiwis

What is to be done with our citizen, William Yan? His payment of nearly $43 million in settlement of a police application to confiscate assets of that value under the Criminal Proceedings Recovery Act avoids a court inquiry into alleged money laundering in China and a judicial ruling on the legality of the wealth he brought to New Zealand.

The police yesterday described the settlement, approved by a High Court judge, as “full and final, without any admission of criminal or civil liability”.

So perhaps the forfeiture was merely to avoid a six-month trial. The sum, while it is the largest such settlement by an individual in New Zealand, might not be missed by someone whose gambling fund at SkyCity has topped $293 million over 12 years.

The police said: “The settlement follows a complex three-year investigation focusing on money laundering large sums allegedly derived from a series of frauds perpetrated in China between 1999 and 2001.”

The manager of asset recovery for the financial crime group at Police National Headquarters, Detective Inspector Paul Hampton, described the settlement as “a significant success for New Zealand Police”, reflecting an “effective working relationship between Chinese and New Zealand law enforcement agencies”. The $42.85 million Yan has paid to recover his assets will be shared with China.

The Herald says that “many New Zealanders will struggle to see any success in the outcome” but I’m struggling to decide whether I care or not.

Leave a comment


  1. If the frauds were committed in China then China is where he should stand trial. However extradition between China and NZ is problematic as they practice capital punishment. Could be lucky escape for Mr Yan. I just hope we don’t become a destination for Chinese fugitives in the future.

    • Gezza

       /  24th August 2016

      They don’t just practice capital punishment arty, they’re damn good at it.

    • Corky

       /  24th August 2016

      As usual, Arty…a straight shot to the heart of the problem. Keep that trigger finger sweet for any influx of Chinese crooks. We have enough of our own.

  2. Klik Bate

     /  24th August 2016

    Back in August 2014, a news story on William Yan / Bill Liu, featured under the headline:


    I for one am not ‘struggling to decide whether I care or not’

    • @KB

      I too hear.. ‘Is Sky City really a casino OR a Chinese Laundry ?’ : fully supported by this Govt. ??? :/ 😀

  3. Is this one instance where we won’t seek reassurance that the death penalty is NOT applied?

  4. Blazer

     /  24th August 2016

    Its o.k if its o.k,if I rob a bank and pay a % of my ‘take’ to remain free with no liability.It is of course what happens with the big banks,when they commit fraud,money laundering and a variety of other heinous offences,and just pay a ‘fine’ to continue…business as usual.Woe betide any unfortunate individual without political clout who breaks the law though!

  5. duperez

     /  24th August 2016

    Is it reasonable to assume that Mr Yan/Liu, with a record of having had a gambling fund at SkyCity which topped $293 million over 12 years, will not be on the bones of his arse after paying the $43 million?

    Steven Joyce will no doubt have him on the ‘Special Visitors” list when his convention centre opens there.


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