Brother of Comanchero gang president jailed in Auckland for ecstasy, money laundering

The brother of the Comanchero gang president has been jailed after moving to New Zealand to help his deported sibling.

Vetekina Naufahu admitted to money laundering and possessing ecstasy, and is the latest Comanchero member to be sentenced after massive police raids in 2019.

The 35-year-old acknowledged and smiled at his supporters at the High Court in Auckland today, as he turned up in his club’s black and gold colours.

There was an unusually strong police and security presence at the court, where it was heard Naufahu emigrated from Australia to help his deported younger brother.

His younger brother is Pasilika Naufahu, the motorcycle club’s jailed New Zealand boss.

On August 20 last year, the elder brother pleaded guilty to money laundering, drug possession and participation in an organised criminal group.

The money laundering charge related to a Range Rover and the organised crime charge carried a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Disgraced lawyer Andrew Simpson set up trusts for the Naufahus.

Crown prosecutor Emma Smith said the 35-year-old was a trusted and senior Comanchero and had an encrypted Ciphr phone.

“That was a device that people higher up in the group used to facilitate offending and avoid detection,” she said.

Naufahu’s defence counsel Ron Mansfield today said the money laundering charge of $70,000 was minor, when compared to other Comanchero defendants.

He disputed suggestions Naufahu, a father of three, was a senior gang member.

Having Ciphr phones or using encrypted messaging apps did not in themselves even reflect criminality, Mansfield said.

“All of the reports are consistent in him being a good partner and an excellent father,” Mansfield added.

Pasilika Naufahu had no support in New Zealand when deported from Australia, so the elder brother came to help.

“He doesn’t seek to blame his brother for his involvement,” the defence counsel added.

The court heard Vetekina Naufahu enjoyed fewer financial benefits from crime than Comanchero secretary Jarome Fonua or vice-president Tyson Daniels did.

Justice Graham Lang said Naufahu joined the Comancheros in Sydney in 2009, seeing an opportunity to make money and support his family.

He sentenced Naufahu to two years in jail.


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