Police broke the law by accessing Customs and Immigration data for more than a year when they did not have permission to do so.
The embarrassing situation saw police logging on to CusMod, Customs’ computer system, 15,799 times between December 2015 and January 2017 for border security reasons after an “administrative oversight” led to an authorisation expiry date being ignored.
It follows a December announcement by Inspector General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn that the country’s spies also unlawfully accessed the same database for more than 20 years between 1997 and 2016.
When Gwyn revealed the breach no mention was made of the police problem.
Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri was informed in December after asking for information on other CusMod access arrangements.