A Hungarian tourist accused of murdering Onehunga salesman Ronald James Brown is believed to be on the run from authorities in his home country.
Police will oppose bail for 29-year-old Ferdinand Ambach when he appears in the Auckland District Court, after learning that Hungarian authorities are seeking him for his alleged involvement in a luxury vehicle tax evasion scheme worth millions of dollars.
Ambach faces charges of assault, intentional damage and murder after allegedly attacking Mr Brown in his home early on December 8.
Mr Brown was found badly beaten on the ground floor of his Matiere Rd unit. Ambach was found upstairs.
A court order prevents publication of any pictures of Ambach.
Police say the two men met at the 306 Bar in Onehunga Mall and left at the same time about 9pm.
A spokesman for the 306 Bar told the Herald that Mr Brown and Ambach were drinking in the bar on the night of Mr Brown's death.
But he said the two men did not leave the bar together, although they had been talking during the evening.
Mr Brown, 69, was attacked between 9.30pm on the Friday and 1am on the Saturday, the time police arrived at his Matiere Rd home.
He died in Auckland City Hospital on Monday night, hours after his life support was turned off.
Residents of the cul-de-sac told the Herald of hearing piercing screams and the sound of shattering glass coming from Mr Brown's two-storey unit on the night of the attack.
Officers investigating the killing said information about Ambach's history, given to police by the Herald, had "borne a bit of fruit".
Inquiry head Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Cramer said today New Zealand police were working with Interpol to confirm the information.
"We're making the inquiries through the Hungarian authorities because that's going to provide us the greatest assurance of the reliability of the information," he told Radio New Zealand.
He earlier said police had obtained information from publicly available sources that would result in further investigation.
Sources last week alerted the Herald to Hungarian news website stories about the hunt for Ambach.
He was wanted because of his alleged role in an international tax fraud over the selling of luxury vehicles, including Lamborghini and Porsche sports cars.
It is understood that as a result of the scam, which involved buying luxury cars in Germany then selling them privately in Hungary, more than $3.7 million in customs and excise duties was unpaid.
Hungarian tax officials are understood to have confiscated 29 luxury vehicles, the most expensive a Maybach car worth $595,000.
It is believed Ambach prepared legal documents for the vehicles.
The scam came to the attention of Hungarian authorities in September after a crash involving two luxury cars that were street-racing.
Hungarian sources told the Herald that Ambach's involvement was discovered and an arrest warrant was issued.
Ambach is believed to have been in New Zealand for only a few weeks.
Mr Brown's funeral was held on Friday.
Mr Cramer said police were still talking to 306 Bar patrons and other possible witnesses, and the investigation was progressing well.
"Ronald Brown had a huge number of friends and associates. We are continuing our inquiries to build a really good picture of his background."