New Zealand banker wanted by Interpol living in Christchurch

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 11 Feb 2021, 3:03PM
Paul Robert Mora is wanted by Interpol. Photo / Supplied
Paul Robert Mora is wanted by Interpol. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand banker wanted by Interpol living in Christchurch

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 11 Feb 2021, 3:03PM

An internationally wanted man is reportedly living in Christchurch.

Interpol, based in Lyon, France, posted a "red notice" on its website seeking information on the whereabouts of 53-year-old Paul Robert Mora, who is suspected of facilitating and concealing fraudulent transactions worth more than €113 million ($190 million).

Stuff has reported a statement by Mora's lawyer in London said he recently moved house to a new Christchurch address in Scarborough.

Property records show he also co-owns a property on Godley Drive, Scarborough.

The property he is currently living in is worth $2.5 million and has spectacular views of Sumner, Pegasus Bay and the Southern Alps, Stuff reported.

Mora is alleged to have acted on behalf of an investor while he worked at a large bank between 2006 and 2008.

Frankfurt prosecutors, who are handling the investigation, said Mora has "many contacts abroad, including in New Zealand, Great Britain, Switzerland, Australia and Spain".

The case against Mora is part of a broader investigation into so-called cum-ex transactions where participants would lend each other shares to collect reimbursement for taxes they hadn't paid.

European countries are estimated to have lost tens of billions of euros from those and similar transactions over the years, until a bank whistleblower alerted the media and forced authorities to clamp down on the practice.

The trial against Mora and other suspects before a court in Wiesbaden, Germany, is due to begin March 25. It was repeatedly postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A related trial in Bonn last year resulted in suspended sentences for two British bankers after they agreed to provide detailed information about the fraud scheme.

The Companies Office shows that Mora still has a number of business interests in New Zealand, and is listed as the director of several Christchurch-based companies.

He went to St Bede's College and Canterbury University.