Media Release: Money trail leads to two charged, $710,000 and 60kg ice seized

Release Date: Wednesday, March 02 2016, 12:49 PM

Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers have charged two Hong Kong nationals with dealing in the proceeds of crime after more than $700,000 was seized in Sydney yesterday.

Police investigations under the AFP’s long standing Operation Zanella into money laundering identified the two men, aged 46 and 28, allegedly involved in the collection and movement of illicit funds. Yesterday morning (Tuesday, 1 March 2016) AFP officers located the two men in separate vehicles in the vicinity of Homebush West and arrested them.

Search warrants were conducted on vehicles and premises connected to the two men. In the vehicle of the 46-year-old police seized three cartons containing approximately $700,000 of sealed Australian currency, a number of mobile phones and around 10 kilograms of a crystalline substance believed to be methamphetamine, concealed within small suitcase. During a search of one of the premises, a further 50 kilograms of methamphetamine was seized together with approximately $10,000 in Australian currency.

Both men were charged with one count of dealing in the proceeds of crime ($100,000 or more) contrary to section 400.4 of the Criminal Code 1995. The 46-year-old was further charged with one count of possession of a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs, namely methamphetamine, pursuant to Section 307.5 of the Criminal Code 1995.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Organised Crime and Cyber Peter Crozier said following the money trail led officers to the detection of this criminal activity.

“By identifying and pursuing leads associated with money laundering we are able to track those involved in criminal activity, predominantly illicit drug trafficking, but also financing of other criminal enterprises,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Crozier said.

Both men are expected to appear before the Sydney Central Local Court today (Wednesday, 2 March 2016).

The maximum penalties for the proceeds of crime related offence is 20-years imprisonment and 25 years imprisonment for the drug related offence.

Enquiries in relation to this matter are ongoing and further charges have not been ruled out.

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