Man arrested for laundering $7.7 million

Australian Border Force, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, Australian Federal Police, Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), Department of Home Affairs, Western Australia Police

A 36-year-old Sydney man is due to face Perth Magistrates Court today (25 July 2019) following an investigation into a money laundering syndicate based out of Sydney.

Officers from the Australian Federal Police (AFP), along with members of the WA Joint Organised Crime Taskforce (JOCTF), arrested the 36-year-old man following warrants executed in Perth, Western Australia yesterday.

The WA JOCTF is a multi-agency taskforce comprised of the AFP, Western Australia Police Force, Australian Border Force, Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).

It will be alleged that the man travelled between Sydney and Perth multiple times to deposit funds totalling $7.7 million into bank accounts controlled by a New South Wales man.

The 36-year-old man has been charged with one count of dealing in money reasonably suspected of being the proceeds of crime, contrary to section 400.9 (1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and one count of committing an offence at the direction of an organisation, contrary to section 390.5 (2) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for these offences are 3 and 7 years imprisonment respectively. Further charges are anticipated as the investigation continues.

The New South Wales man has since been arrested by New South Wales Police on charges of knowingly directing a criminal group.

AFP Detective Superintendent Timothy Underhill said that the WA JOCTF remained committed to apprehending the perpetrators of these crimes.

“Detecting, disrupting and dismantling money laundering syndicates is one of the AFP’s priorities. Targeting the laundering of criminal proceeds is one of the most effective ways in which law enforcement agencies can disrupt organised crime through impacting their capacity to finance illegal activity and through removing the financial incentive to commit crime.”

AUSTRAC National Manager Intelligence Partnerships Brad Brown said AUSTRAC provided financial intelligence throughout the operation which enabled the criminal’s financial activities to be exposed.

“Money laundering causes significant harm to our community by financing serious organised crime such as drug trafficking and the illegal sale of firearms,” Mr Brown said.