A 21-year-old man whose burning body was found in south Auckland last week withdrew tens of thousands of dollars from his bank account hours before he died, police revealed today.
Police investigating the homicide of Shalvin Prasad this morning said they believed the money, which has not been located, was related to his death.
It is not believed Mr Prasad was involved in any illegal activity.
Police would not disclose the exact amount withdrawn but said it was "in the tens of thousands range" and withdrawn about eight hours before he went missing.
"People may well speculate as to how a 21 year old came to have a large sum of money but at this stage of the investigation police emphasise that here is no indication that Shalvin was involved in any illegal activity," Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said.
Mr Lynch said Mr Prasad was "a diligent saver and checks of his banking history confirm that this money was gradually saved over a long period".
The money was withdrawn from a term investment, "which suggests to us that there was some recent event or activity that motivated Shalvin to withdraw this money without the knowledge of his family", Mr Lynch said.
He said Mr Prasad had been described by his family as "innocent and naive" and it was possible somebody had taken advantage of that.
He said police were investigating whether he was the victim of fraud or if he was bribed or blackmailed.
The development comes the day after the funeral for Mr Prasad, whose scorched body was found in a scrub fire on Thursday.
A homicide investigation was confirmed at the weekend.