Bay man arrested after investigation into alleged blackmail

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A 55-year-old man from Hawke's Bay has been arrested in relation to an investigation into threats received by a number of New Zealand companies.

The man has been charged with seven counts of blackmail and will appear in the Hastings District Court today.

The arrest follows the execution of a search warrant by police at a Napier address yesterday.

"Cases such as these are taken very seriously by police and this matter has been under investigation since the threats were received in July," said Detective Inspector Chris Cahill of Auckland City CIB.

"Police made a carefully considered judgement about not making the threat public until this point. This decision followed a thorough risk assessment which took into consideration all the information available to police."

"This decision could have been reviewed at any stage if police had become aware of any new information which might have changed the risk assessment," said Mr Cahill.

Police said in a statement that blackmail was punishable by a sentence of up to 14 years imprisonment.

As the matter is now before the court, police are unable to provide any further information at this time, including specific details of the threats, the statement said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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