Former New Zealand Poker Star Assets Seized In Drug Bust

Robert Longthorpe - Senior Writer
Robert Longthorpe
27 May 2022 in News
Shane Tamihana Assets Seized

Out of all of the online casino games to be found at the best New Zealand real money casinos, poker tends to be a favourite. Shane Tamihana was at the height of his poker career in 2018. However, he was also at the top of another industry. Tamihana was dealing methamphetamine over this period as well.

In 2018, he was charged with possession and dealing, and sentenced to thirteen years in jail. He will only be eligible to appeal for parole in 2024. But recently the story deepened.

Tamihana Assets Seized

Earlier this month, it was ruled that Tamihana’s assets gained through illegal activities were to be seized.

So far, the following assets have been reclaimed:

  • A 2006 Toyota Hilux registered under the name John Doe
  • Tamihana's home valued at NZ$280,000
  • Over NZ$90,000 in cash

It was just the beginning however when police raided Tamihana’s accomplice, Petera Gamlen’s home, they found:

  • Over 2.6kgs of meth
  • Roughly NZ$80,000 in cash

The pair have also been linked to the notorious Hawke’s Bay crime syndicate, the Mongrel Mob. Certain members have been linked to Tamihana's drug trade, and as a result, will have their assets seized and fortified to the crown.

Tamihana Plays His Poker Face With The Police

Tamihana tried to hide his assets from the law. As previously stated, he had registered his ute under the pseudonym, John Doe. Detective Sergent Alex MacDonald of the Asset Recovery Unit shared that this behavior was not common among criminals trying to hide their assets.

When trying to conceal a vehicle, the accused will usually register the vehicle in the name of a family member. Another common practice is to leave the vehicle in the name of the previous owner. MacDonald did share that, although uncommon, he had seen fake names surface before Tamihana.

In another attempt to avoid the law, Tamihana tried to argue that the property seized was actually registered to one Michael Allison. Allison backed up this statement, however, the pair could not outsmart the judge.

Justice David Gendall ruled the house as tainted property, stating it was ‘more than likely’ bought in Allison’s name on behalf of Tamihana. Furthermore, Allison’s own father made a statement saying that to his knowledge, his son did not own any property.

Tamihana's Poker Past

Tamihana, also known by the name Shane Thompson, was on the rise in the poker world before his run-in with the law. In 2016, Tamihana took home first place at the SkyCity Festival of Poker.

Tamihana was known as an aggressive, domineering player, relishing in his opponent's folds with his catchphrase “ Later Bo”. It was reported that over his two years before jail, he had earned over NZ$100,000 at the tables.

However, during this period (2016 – 2017) he had also been responsible for moving roughly NZ$4.2 million in meth through the Hawke’s Bay area.

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