An East Tāmaki house razed by a large fire late last night is owned by a wealthy Chinese businessman accused of running a massive pyramid scheme from Canada.
A brick feature wall and a fireplace are all that remains of the four-bedroom home along Point View Drive, after a fire ripped through the property from 8.30pm.
The massive blaze, which spewed smoke and yellow flames into the night sky, took firefighters almost six hours to put out.
Records show the 25m by 30m property is owned by Xiao Hua Gong, who is accused of accruing $202 million dollars via a pyramid scheme selling medicines in China.
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Also known as Edward Gong, he was arrested in Canada in December 2017 and charged with fraud and money laundering in connection to the alleged pyramid scheme involving the "fraudulent sale of hundreds of millions of dollars" in Chinese shares.
Nine months before Gong's arrest in Canada, a High Court judge granted freezing orders over Gong's assets in New Zealand, which include $69.5m held in bank accounts and an Auckland home worth $2m.
New Zealand detectives alleged Gong transferred nearly $12m into the country from Canada.
The money laundering was committed here in order to in order to distance Gong from the alleged pyramid scheme in China, police said.
It took eight fire crews two hours to bring the blaze under control last night, with the "massive" fire visible from at least 3km away, a witness said.
One person was at the home at the time and assessed by St John Ambulance. Fire investigators were at the ruined house this morning.