Sophisticated Money Laundering & Tax Evasion Operation Crushed by Australian Federal Police & the Australian Crime Commission
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (News4us.com) February 11, 2011
Minister for Home Affairs and Justice Brendan O’Connor today congratulated the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission on dismantling a highly lucrative money laundering and tax evasion operation.
The AFP has executed search warrants on eight business and residential properties in western Sydney in relation to a sophisticated money laundering and tax evasion syndicate.
Two people have been arrested and charged with dealing in the proceeds of crime worth $1 million. They will appear in a Sydney court today.
About $800 000 cash has been seized and another $200 000 has been frozen in accounts allegedly associated with the scheme.
The syndicate of clothing manufacturers allegedly transferred profits through a series of bank accounts to avoid paying tax on these earnings.
Today’s successful operation was sparked by AUSTRAC information collected by the Australian Crime Commission-led National Criminal Intelligence Fusion Centre.
The $14.5 million Centre was launched by Minister O’Connor in July last year and is a key plank of the Gillard Government’s assault on organised crime.
“Today’s arrests and the seizure of assets are a tangible result of a targeted and co-operative approach to fighting organised crime,” Mr O’Connor said.
“Without the Fusion Centre’s work and the collaborative approach this Government is taking to fighting organised crime, it’s possible that this syndicate would still be operating,” he said.
The Centre sees law enforcement agencies working collaboratively to prevent, disrupt, investigate and prosecute organised crime.
“Since its launch, the Fusion Centre has identified 39 previously unknown targets. All are now the subject of monitoring or investigation. That’s a great indicator of the value of this Centre.”
Money laundering was identified in last year’s Commonwealth Organised Crime Response Plan as one of the top three crime priorities for national law enforcement.
“The Gillard Government and its law enforcement agencies are targeting money laundering because we know that money is the lifeblood of organised crime,” Mr O’Connor said.
“All Australians are burdened by those who try to avoid paying tax – every evaded tax dollar means less money for health, education and other community services.
“Co-ordinated tax evasion on this scale is nothing short of organised crime,” he said.
“I congratulate AUSTRAC, the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Federal Police and all agencies involved in the successful dismantling of this organised crime syndicate.”
The Australian Federal Police, AUSTRAC, Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Tax Office, Centrelink and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship are working on this investigation.
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