Last year Whale Oil Journo Stephen Cook reported on a case that we here at LF had been looking into for quite some time. (see: http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/tag/graham-hare/)
The Whale Oil posts prompted fraudster Matthew Blomfield to immediately attack Slater again using the courts, even though Slater had not in fact identified Blomfield by name, Slater unfortunately came off second best in that mini circus, the substantive hearing seemingly to be heard in the distant future if Blomfield gets his way.
Even Lynn Prentice at the Standard noted Blomfield’s involvement, and managed to fabricate a completely implausible set of hypotheticals for the victim, Shiv Mattu using Slater to bring the matter to the attention of the public. (see: The comical farce of Cameron Slater et al)
Unfortunately for Prentice et al however LF had advised Mr Shiv, who had been the subject of a series of frauds and at least one extortion, to contact that New Zealand police and lay a formal complaint.
LF’s suggestion had been relayed through an intermediary close to Mr Mattu.
We were subsequently advised that Mattu had received a very unusual response from police following his complaint; that police had no intention of investigating the matter and that they would not be prosecuting the fraudster responsible, one Anmol Seth.
This quite extraordinary police response was relayed to us through the same intermediary. Of course, not to put too finer point on it we were absolutely gob-smacked by the New Zealand polices behavior around this complaint.
The circumstances of the fraud were so straight forward that Anmol Seth should have been charged immediately, leaving it to the Courts to try the matter being the only finder of fact in law.
LF’s advice was equally straightforward second time round, we advised that a formal complaint be immediately laid against police for their inexplicable failure to properly investigate and lay the appropriate criminal information’s.
Acting on our opinion and the advice of others the victim subsequently did make a formal complaint to New Zealand’s police watchdog, the IPCA.
That’s when things started to get even more interesting, circumstance and behavior that was perhaps best described by a police officer in an email the complainant received from police subsequent to the aforementioned IPCA complaint:
From: “TIERNAN, Kevin” <Kevin.Tiernan@police.govt.nz>
To: “‘firstname.lastname@example.org..nz'” <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, 22 December 2015 11:06 AM
Subject: Re Anmol Seth
Dear Mr Mattu. Thank-you for ringing me back today about this matter. I must admit that since we spoke for the first time on the phone several weeks ago I had been preoccupied with other matters and had forgotten that I was going to email you, so that you could reply with the name of the Serious Fraud Office investigator’s name.
There are four points that were discussed today.
- I was going to email you with my details so you can reply with the name of the SFO investigator.
- I have been allocated your request for disclosure of the police file held in relation to this matter. Currently the file is in excess of 650 pages so that will take some time to process and disclose. However I hope to have that completed by 31st December 2015.
- The complaint you made to the IPCA has been assigned to me to deal with. As discussed with you today, your complaint relates solely to the fact that Anmol Seth was not prosecuted.
I have reviewed the file and I am left in agreement with Ms Rosemary Ayers who recommended that Seth was prosecuted for fraud. You agreed that on the basis that Seth is prosecuted, that would be an outcome that was favouritable to you and would resolve the IPCA complaint.
I am happy to give you an undertaking that Seth will be prosecuted in the New Year. On this basis, I will write to you shortly to say that the IPCA complaint has been conciliated.
- The investigation file, currently shown to me, will be assigned to an investigator shortly (before the end of the year) who will be tasked to prosecute Seth.
Please feel free to ring me at any time if you wish to discuss any aspects of this email, otherwise I will await you reply email with the details of the SFO investigator.
Detective Senior Sergeant (KT8609)
Counties Manukau Eastern Area CIB
New Zealand Police
50 Ormiston Road, Flat Bush, Auckland, 2016
PO Box 217237, Botany Junction 2164
DX: EX 10949
+64 9 250 2886 | +64 021 191 0612 | Ext: 92186 |6 +64 9 250 2840 *firstname.lastname@example.org
Now there are a number of issues with this particular case and the email above, not the least of which was the police’s apparent back-peddling, which we will look at in more detail shortly.
First however, we would like to note a series of articles on police failures that the New Zealand Herald published recently, links to which readers will be able find in the bibliography below.
The upshot of the Herald series was that the New Zealand police had failed to investigate thousands of burglary complaints, in fact, when boiled down to raw statistics the sheer scale of this police failure was truly staggering (see: Police made burglaries vanish and Burglary exclusive: 164 burglaries a day unsolved).
But of course it’s by no means the first time that these obviously systemic police failures have been exposed.
Back in May 2015 police where again caught on the hop when it was revealed that a senior Auckland police investigator had simply thrown active investigations into the bottom of a cupboard, where the files remained untouched until further complaints were again laid with the IPCA against the senior police officer responsible. Team LF at that time posted an article on this case, as did the New Zealand Herald (see: Serious Crimes Go Investigated – Why are New Zealand Police complaints simply vanishing into thin air)
This type of New Zealand police failure has surfaced from time to time with arguably the most egregious example occurring back in the 2006 – 2010 period when the very same senior investigating officer had simply buried serious complaints of child sexual abuse in the Wairarapa district.
Again LF posted an article at this time, as did the New Zealand Herald (see: Watchdog finds flaws in probe of child abuse)
The officer at the centre of the IPCA inquiry on that occasion was one Mark McHattie. Detective Sergeant Mark McHattie, as he was then, was not disciplined or punished for the negligence or incompetence; rather he was simply transferred out of the district, given a promotion and later resurfaced in Auckland. This strangest of events was also noted and reported by the New Zealand Herald (see: Abuse scandal cop promoted).
That was not the end of McHattie and his magic act, in last years case of vanishing police investigations the police at first tried to conceal McHatties involvement, using the old “employment issue” scam. That however did not please the victims of those police antics, who subsequently set about insuring the public got to hear the who story; again reported on by the New Zealand Herald (see; ‘Forgotten files’ investigation broadens)
The problem with many of these cases is that the same police officers names keep cropping up. In fact in the case of our fraud victim, Mr Shiv Mattu, Detective Mark McHattie’s name and email address crops up on a number of occasions; McHattie having been the recipient of a number of internal police emails that appear in the file, given to LF, that indicate McHattie had control over the progress and conduct of Shivs complaint; and at least one other involving Matthew Blomfield.
Another police officer that appears to be involved in an inordinate number of these forms of police negligence or obfuscation is one Aaron Pascoe. Pascoe is of course best known for his role in obtaining the unlawful Operation 8 search warrants (see: A picture of terror in the Ureweras).
In fact in the middle of Pascoe’s fudging of the dodgy police search warrants for Operation 8, Pascoe was also caught red-handed unlawfully obtaining and dealing with information that belonged to Trademe website customers (see: Police deliver TradeMe names to prisoners)
Now Both Pascoe and McHattie have featured on LF before now, neither men shown in a particularly flattering light. Obviously McHatties involvement in the child abuse cover-ups meant that at the very least his police superiors should have been keeping a watchful eye on his performance as far back as 2009.
The same could also be said for Aaron Pascoe, the policeman responsible for the unlawful search warrants police used in the Operation 8 fiasco. In Pascoe’s case the IPCA was scathing of his behavior. So to the IPCA in the case of McHattie, both commission reports can be located in the bibliography below.
Of concern in the case of Aaron Pascoe is his involvement in a number of cases which LF are currently looking at; cases including extremely dodgy search warrants that were issued by police.
One new case of particular interest being against a Golden Bay couple, Pascoe now seemingly involved in attempting to withhold the files and affidavits the police relied on when convincing the judge to permit the issuing and execution of very rarely granted secret search warrants. (see: Secret police search in 1080 blackmail case leaves Golden Bay couple in shock).
In fact if one were to be particularly cynical it almost feels as if these two particular officers have been given the job of burying police complaints; mandated to tackle cases that the police don’t really want to have to deal with, or want made public.
That then brings us back to the email above and as aforesaid the numerous issues that this document suggests have been present.
The first issue is raised with one particular sentence;
“As discussed with you today, your complaint relates solely to the fact that Anmol Seth was not prosecuted”
Now to understand the possible issues one should be aware of the fact that the complainant MR Shiv speaks English as a second language. One should also be aware of the fact that he had also made a similar complaint against another person, one Matthew Blomfield, for a series of frauds and an extortion that inveigled the now deceased lawyer Graham Hare.
It seems to us that the officer in this case is being very careful to exclude both of these complaints from any promised future police investigation or action.
The second concern comes from the following admission;
“I have reviewed the file and I am left in agreement with Ms Rosemary Ayers who recommended that Seth was prosecuted for fraud”
So the author of the email admits that Anmol Seth should have been prosecuted, in accordance with the recommendation of one Rosemary Ayers, but that for some mysterious reason he wasn’t, so why is it that he was not prosecuted? Did either Mark McHattie or Aaron Pascoe have a hand in the decision to attempt to bury Mr Mattu’s complaint?
Despite the police officers promise that Anmol Seth would be prosecuted the fact remains that, to date, Seth has not been prosecuted, in fact police have done very little if anything about prosecuting Seth, despite their many reassurances. In fact it seems to us that police may be actively avoiding having to prosecute Anmol Seth, again for reasons one can only guess at.
Could it be that if they Prosecute Seth then their attempts to bury other complaint’s against Matthew Blomfield will be compromised?
Certainly Blomfield was an interested party in some of the offending committed by Anmol Seth against Shiv Mattu and he is currently being investigated for at least two other complaints for similar criminal offending.
This is definitely a possibility as it seems to any independent observer that police are heading in this direction with definite obfuscation and or hedging around all of these other unrelated police complaints against Blomfield.
The third, and arguably most astounding, issue is to be found in the fact that it has taken a formal complaint to the IPCA to get any police action whatsoever.
Even more astoundingly the author of the email, one Detective Senior Sergeant Kevin Tiernan, states that he will personally organize the withdrawing of the IPCA complaint, based solely on little more than his word that Anmol Seth would be prosecuted.
Now this so-called promise is important, given that police, some five months on, have yet to act on their promise to prosecute………waiting for some statutory limitation to expire perhaps?
All things considered this is certainly shaping up as yet another example of how police bury crimes? Another case where police have obfuscated and manipulated the victim of a crime, a person at some disadvantage, so as to achieve their own objectives.
One thing is fairly obvious though, if you have made a complaint with police and it appears to be going nowhere fast, then your best bet is to file a formal complaint with the IPCA. It seems things only then start to happen
It does not matter if it’s a burglary, the theft of a vehicle or a multimillion-dollar fraud, police have a statutory duty to investigate all reported crime.
Police are the servants in the relationship; they are there and paid to protect the interests of the New Zealand tax payer, the public, not the other way round.
LF have much more to come on this case and two or three related others; just how Matthew Blomfield fits into the picture and why it is Blomfield desperately needed the Whale Oil website gagged.