Media Release: Man arrested for breaching structuring provisions, $6.95 million restrained
Release Date: Thursday, June 28 2012, 09:46 AM
This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and Western Australia Police.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has arrested and charged a West Australian man with structuring offences, restraining approximately $6.95 million in commercial and residential properties and cash under Commonwealth proceeds of crime legislation.
AFP agents were assisted by Western Australia Police on 18 June when several search warrants were conducted in the Karratha region as part of Operation Verwall.
Assets linked to the 66 year-old-man were restrained, including two residential properties, two commercial premises, $75,000 in cash and more than $2 million held in a bank account.
A number of unlicensed firearms and ammunition were also seized, and charges have been laid in relation to this by Western Australia Police.
The operation began when the AFP conducted enquiries into the man’s banking activities. It will be alleged in court that the man has made regular deposits of cash obtained through his commercial business into a private bank account in an attempt to avoid transaction reporting requirements.
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) provided significant financial intelligence in the initiation of this investigation.
The 66-year-old Karratha man has been charged with 28 counts of conducting structuring transactions contrary to section 142 of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth).
AFP Manager Perth Office Brad Shallies said the AFP is committed to putting a stop to people who profit from criminal activity such as avoidance tactics to hide unexplained wealth.
“There is a significant commitment by the AFP and our law enforcement partners to attacking criminal activity which generates unexplained wealth with a range of joint investigation and intelligence collection endeavors underway,” Commander Shallies said.
“The AFP and partner agencies are placing an increasing focus on utilising financial intelligence to identify this type of criminal activity.”
The AFP has commenced a number of litigations to restrain assets on behalf of the Commonwealth Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce since new legislation came into effect in January this year giving the AFP the powers to commence and conduct proceeds of crime litigation.
The AFP-led Taskforce brings together resources from the AFP, Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Crime Commission.
The Taskforce works in partnership with other agencies that have responsibilities under proceeds of crime legislation, such as the Insolvency and Trustee Services Australia (ITSA). ITSA will hold the restrained assets in a trustee capacity until the matter is decided through a court process.
The man is expected to appear in Karratha Court today (28 June, 2012).
AFP National Media Team
Phone: (02) 6131 6333
WA Police Media Team
Phone: (08) 9222 1217