Perth man charged with money laundering after AFP seizes $1 million cash from car boot

Australian Federal Police, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, NSW Police Force

The AFP has seized $1 million in cash and charged a West Australian man, 34, with dealing in the proceeds of crime as part of an investigation into alleged money laundering. 

AFP investigators arrested the man last night (6 October, 2022) at a car park in the coastal suburb of City Beach, as he was allegedly in the process of laundering the cash. Police allegedly seized about $1 million cash from the boot of the vehicle the man was driving.

Investigators also executed a search warrant at the man’s home in Perth’s northern suburbs, where they seized a mobile phone and a minor amount of cash.

It will be alleged the man was linked to local criminal groups attempting to launder large amounts of cash generated from the proceeds of crime.

The investigation was part of Operation PHOBETOR-ATLAS, which is a joint operation involving the AFP, New South Wales Police and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.  

AFP Detective Inspector John Whitehead said money laundering networks helped criminals access the profits from their Australian crimes by moving the proceeds offshore.

"Money laundering is a key enabler of organised crime and drug trafficking and is a serious criminal enterprise in its own right," he said.

 “The AFP continues to work tirelessly to prevent criminals from profiting off the misery of Australians.”

The man appeared before the Perth Magistrates Court today (7 October 2022) and was remanded in custody to reappear on 11 October (2022).

He has been charged with dealing in the proceeds of crime to the value of $1,000,000 or more, contrary to section 400.3(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The offence carries a maximum penalty of 25 years' imprisonment.

The AFP-led Criminal Asset Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) will apply to the Courts to restrain the confiscated cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth).

The CACT brings together the resources and expertise of the AFP, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, AUSTRAC and Australian Border Force. Together, these agencies trace, restrain and ultimately confiscate criminal assets.

The funds derived from the sale of confiscated assets are placed into the Confiscated Assets Account which is managed by the Australian Financial Security Authority on behalf of the Commonwealth. These funds can be distributed by the Attorney-General to benefit the community through crime prevention, intervention or diversion programs or other law enforcement initiatives across Australia.

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