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NZ refuses bail for web tycoon as passports seized

Chris Bourke, Auckland (SMH) | Jan. 25, 2012
Kim Dotcom has been remanded in custody until Feb. 22, the judge denying him his application for bail.

When police arrived at Schmitz's leased Auckland home, he entered his house and activated electronic locks, police said. They neutralised locks and cut their way into a safe room where he was found with what looked like a sawed-off shotgun, according to the statement.

Police said they carried out 10 search warrants and seized 18 luxury vehicles, including a Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe and a 1959 pink Cadillac. The vehicles are valued at $NZ6 million ($A4.6 million). Police said as much as $NZ11 million was restrained in various accounts.

NZ opposition politicians want an inquiry into how Dotcom was able to stay permanently in Auckland, the website reported. He was able to settle there after investing $NZ10 million in government bonds in 2010, the website reported.

Meanwhile, proposed American anti-internet-piracy laws have collapsed. Hollywood studios are searching for a compromise with internet companies after an online protest by Google and Wikipedia unravelled support for the bills.

A decision by congressional leaders to shelve the measures marked a defeat for the Motion Picture Association of America. Unprecedented web opposition prompted at least 13 co-sponsors to abandon the bills.



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