David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.

$4.3m Dotcom mansion seized

Artwork removed from Kim Dotcom's mansion in Coatesville today. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Artwork removed from Kim Dotcom's mansion in Coatesville today. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The $4.3 million home where Kim Dotcom's pregnant wife and three children live has been seized by New Zealand authorities.

Staff for the Official Assignee are currently scouring the 2.16 hectare property in Coatesville, north of Auckland, which borders the larger "Dotcom Mansion" where Dotcom and his family lived until he was arrested by police last month.

Dotcom was refused permission to buy the $30 million property by the Overseas Investment Office as he did not meet the "good character" test. But he was able to buy the neighbouring lifestyle block in December, as property is less than five hectares of non-urban land and therefore did not need approval. The home is 565sqm and has a valuation of $4.3m.

The property was not among the $16m of assets seized when Dotcom was arrested last month, but Official Assignee staff are now assessing the property.

Dotcom's pregnant wife Mona, who is due to give birth to twins in April, and their three other children have been living in the smaller mansion since the police raids.

Guy Sayers, of the Official Assignee, confirmed a new restraining order had been granted over the property on February 1.

However, he said there was no suggestion that the Dotcom family have to leave.

"Certainly no one is going to be evicted. It's no different to any other restraining order where I take custody and control of property, but the family can still live there.

"We'll set up a property inspections to make sure there's no damage, but other than that, the family can still enjoy it."

The OA has also returned to the "Dotcom Mansion" this morning to seize property, including a luxury car and artwork.

The car was originally seized in the January 20 raids but had to be returned because of a paperwork error.

Dotcom, the founder of the Megaupload website, is in custody awaiting an extradition hearing after being accused by the FBI of being at the centre of a global piracy and money-laundering conspiracy.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

- NZ Herald

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