Emirates Team New Zealand has issued a press release in response to reports that New Zealand government agencies were looking into possible misuse of public funds and concerns regards safety at the 36th America’s Cup event.
In the statement, ETNZ and ACE categorically deny any wrong doing and consider that they have already addressed the concerns of MBIE and Council, and their advisor Beattie Varley.
Regarding the America’s Cup team being defrauded by scammers, refered to as . . .
On the Hungarian Bank Account Fraud
‘The email scam which resulted in the payment to a fraudulent Hungarian bank account was immediately disclosed by [name redacted] to MBIE ([name redacted]) after its discovery and an assurance was given that ACE still had sufficient funds for the delivery of the Events, and that it would not be seeking any further financial assistance from the Hosts.
The scammed funds simply needed to be replaced by other revenue at ACE.
The fraud/theft was reported to the NZ Police who alerted the relevant international authorities with all appropriate steps being instigated through Kiwibank and Bell Gully, solicitors, to attempt to recover the funds. The email scam is addressed further below.’
Nothing further is mentioned about that scam, but team CEO Grant Dalton has said an employee of America’s Cup Events (ACE) had fallen victim to an email scam and had made a NZ$1 million (£521,530) payment to a bank account in Hungary.
New Zealand police have confirmed they are investigating the scam with the help of Hungarian authorities.
The ETNZ press statement goes on to cover a number of Health and Safety points and financial actions related to ACE and a NZ$3,000,000 Purported Loan, which have been mentioned in recent New Zealand media and are being investigated by The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
The statement concludes . . . to the MBIE and Council:
‘In summary, when the full circumstances are understood we believe that the concerns of the Hosts can be satisfied and ACE/ETNZ are not in breach of their obligations under the Host Venue Agreement.’