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15 December 2022, 5:24pm
Media Release

AFP seizes about $5 million in alleged dirty cash

Editor’s Note: Footage, images and audio grabs from AFP Inspector Chris Colley are available via Hightail.

The AFP has arrested an alleged cash courier and seized up to $5 million dollars in suspected illicit cash in Perth overnight (14 December, 2022).

The man, aged 25, has been the target of an AFP investigation since early November (2022) and was arrested last night after being observed acting suspiciously in Perth’s northern suburbs.

He was taken into custody at his Alexander Heights home, where investigators allegedly located and seized packets of cash stashed inside a suitcase and duffle bags in a bedroom.  It is believed the bags contain up to $5 million cash.

Officers also seized encrypted electronic devices and materials allegedly used to package large amounts of currency.  

The AFP will allege the man was acting as a cash courier for a criminal syndicate and was moving large amounts of money, believed to be the proceeds of crime, to ‘dead drop zones’ in parks and bushland across Perth.   He allegedly refused to comply with a data access order to enable police to access his encrypted device.

The man has been charged with:

  • One count of dealing with money worth $1 million or more that is believed to be the proceeds of an indictable offence, contrary to section 400.3(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for the offence is 25 years’ imprisonment; and
  • One count of failed to comply with an order, contrary to section 3LA (6) of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth). The maximum penalty for the offence is 10 years’ imprisonment.

He faced Perth Magistrates’ Court today (15 December) and was granted conditional bail, subject to sureties and a cash bond totalling $1.2 million, to reappear on 10 February (2023). Other conditions of the bail include a curfew, not to be in possession of a dedicated encrypted communications device, daily reporting to police and surrendering his passport.

AFP Transnational Serious and Organised Crime Inspector Chris Colley said the AFP was committed to stamping out the illicit activities of serious organised crime, which costs Australia between $24 and $60 billion dollars each year.

“Seizing up to $5 million dollars in suspected criminal profits will hinder this group’s ability to fund future criminal enterprises,” he said.

“This significant seizure and arrest is the result of great work by the AFP’s intelligence targeting team and I want to thank them and all the investigators involved.

“This outcome should serve as another warning to criminals attempting to operate in WA and across the country - the AFP will not allow you to profit at the expense of our communities.

“The AFP, together with our state and Commonwealth law enforcement partners continue to target and disrupt criminal syndicates and bring those involved to justice.”

The matter has been referred to the AFP-led Criminal Asset Confiscation Taskforce (CACT).

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.

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