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Indian restaurant’s property seized in NZ for tax fraud

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Auckland: Indian restaurant Chain Masala got into trouble for tax fraud. The New Zealand police seized its 33 properties worth $34 million. It is considered the biggest cache of property ever restrained by the authorities in New Zealand.

The asset freeze came after allegations of tax fraud to the tune of $7.4 million dollars, newstalkzb.co.nz reported on Saturday.

Revenue authorities have been investigating 17 firms involved with the Masala chain for allegedly under-reporting earnings.

The restaurant chain owners, Joti Jain, Rupinder Chahil, Rajwinder Grewal and Supinder Singh have allegedly evaded paying tax by systematically stripping cash from the restaurants and not declaring cash sales in GST returns, investigator Elena Bryleva stated in an affidavit.

The brand came under scrutiny last year for paying its employees as little as $2 an hour. Co-owner Jain was sentenced to 11 months home detention last October after admitting immigration and exploitation charges.

According to Immigration New Zealand, one of her victims worked 66 hour weeks for months at the Takapuna restaurant and was also told to clean Jain’s house – all for no more than $3 an hour.

Masala founder Chahil is already facing six charges alleging he falsified immigration documents and supplied misleading information contrary to immigration laws.

Properties seized include a $3 million dollar house in Auckland’s Remuera area, a parcel of land in Takanini and four other properties believed to have been used as accommodation for Masala workers.

Some of the restaurants have since been sold and renamed.(IANS)

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New Zealand To Decriminalize Abortion Through Reform Bill

Abortion to be considered a health issue and not a crime, proposed in new reform bill in New Zealand

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Abortion decriminalised in new zealand
Abortion is a crime in New Zealand till now and the government is working to scrape that law. Pixabay

The New Zealand government on Monday announced a bill to decriminalize abortion so that it can be treated as a health issue, rather than a crime.

The reform bill proposes removing any statutory medical exam for women not more than 20 weeks into their pregnancy and includes the setting up of “safe areas” near abortion facilities to prevent women from being harassed or attacked, Efe news quoted Justice Minister Andrew Little as saying in a statement.

“Safe abortion should be treated and regulated as a health issue; a woman has the right to choose what happens to her body,” Little said.

“Abortion is the only medical procedure that is still a crime in New Zealand. It’s time for this to change.”

New Zealand announces bill to decriminalize abortion
A new bill proposes to decriminalize abortion in New Zealand. Pixabay

The bill, which will have its first reading in the New Zealand parliament on Thursday, also requires a health practitioner to authorize women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant to terminate the pregnancy if it poses a risk to their mental and physical health as well as their wellbeing.

Also Read: 40-Year-Old Woman Suffering from Breast Cancer Delivers Baby through IVF Method

It also proposes that doctors opposed to providing abortion services on the grounds of conscience must inform pregnant women, who may seek services elsewhere, as well as that women be able to self-refer to a service provider, and health practitioners will advise women of counselling services available.

Currently, abortion is considered a crime in New Zealand, although women can terminate their pregnancies if two doctors consider it advisable for physical and mental health reasons. (IANS)