Media Release: AFP charges four people with laundering more than $15 million

Release Date: Friday, November 16 2012, 10:04 AM

Three men and a woman from Melbourne are scheduled to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates court today (16 November 2012), charged with laundering approximately $15 million.

The charges follow a three year operation lead by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in close cooperation with Victoria Police and the Australian Transaction Reporting and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

The operation originated as a referral from the Australian Crime Commission in 2009.  The AFP commenced investigating a registered Victorian money transfer business, which was making potentially illegal international cash transfers.

It will be alleged in court that the business ran two sets of financial accounts, one of which was legal and the other ‘off the books’.

It will be further alleged that these illegal transfers facilitated organised crime syndicates across Australia to launder the proceeds of crime during 2009 and 2010. 

Intelligence from Victorian Police established that a number of the suspect transactions were linked to a crime syndicate involved in drug importation and distribution. In August 2010, members of a drug syndicate were arrested by Victoria Police and were charged with narcotic trafficking offences. These matters are currently before the courts.

AFP Manager Criminal Assets, Ian McCartney has described today’s result as a win.

“Crime groups will use any means possible to mobilise their cash. In this case the activities of one small business facilitated the movement of millions of dollars out of Australia through criminal pathways,” Commander McCartney said.  

“The arrests provide a timely reminder that law enforcement agencies cooperate closely to target and disrupt activities that enable criminal organisations to operate.”

Detective Superintendent Gerard Ryan from the Victoria Police Crime Department said the result sends a strong message to crime syndicates.

"Multi-agency operations like this show that law enforcement agencies will continue to work together to pursue anyone involved in these illegal activities," Detective Superintendent Ryan said.

A 75-year-old Springvale man, a 48-year-old Keilor Downs man, a 30-year-old Fawkner man and a 55-year-old Noble Park woman have been charged with dealing in proceeds of crime contrary to section 400.3(2)(b)(ii) of the Criminal Code Act 1995.

These offences attract a penalty of up to 12 years imprisonment and/or fines of more than $70,000.  

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333