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16 January 2024, 10:28pm
Media Release

WA man jailed over proceeds of crime offence

Editor’s note: Footage and images available via Hightail

A West Australian man, 26, has been sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for his work as an illegal courier - moving large amounts of cash, which police believed to be the proceeds of crime, around Perth.

The sentence handed down in the Perth District Court today (16 January, 2024) included a six-month term of imprisonment for failing to provide AFP investigators with access to his mobile devices after they arrested him in December 2022.

The AFP arrested the man, then 25, after monitoring his suspicious behaviour over a few weeks as he visited parks, bushland areas and secluded car parks late at night for short periods of time.

When police executed a search warrant at his Alexander Heights home in December (2022), they found a total of $3,650,330 cash in his bedroom, spread among a locked suitcase, locked tool bags and in a cupboard drawer.

The cash was in bundles in plastic heat-sealed wrapping, with additional similar empty wrapping and plastic gloves found in his rubbish bin.

Police seized two mobile phones from the man, one of them an encrypted communications device, but he refused to provide AFP officers with the passcodes.

Investigations found the man was unemployed but as well as the cash in his bedroom, bank records showed he had multiple funds transfers to and from his account in the preceding months that ranged from $250 to about $2500.

The man was charged and pleaded guilty on 28 July, 2023, to:

  • One count of dealing with money worth $1 million or more and being reckless to the fact it is the proceeds of crime, contrary to section 400.3(2) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for the offence is 12 years’ imprisonment; and
  • One count of failing 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.

The man was sentenced to three years and six months’ imprisonment for the proceeds of crime offence and six months’ imprisonment for failing to comply with the 3LA order.

The Judge ordered the terms to be served cumulatively and has set a two-year non-parole period.

 AFP Detective Acting Inspector Heath Cockram said seizing money suspected to be linked to illegal activity was a key priority for the AFP, to prevent criminals from profiting at the expense of the community or funding other criminal enterprises.

“Anyone working for criminal syndicates plays an important role in helping them to cause harm,” Detective a/Insp Cockram said.

“The AFP, with state and Commonwealth law enforcement partners, is working hard to make Australia a hostile environment for serious organised crime and bring to justice anyone involved in these illegal activities.”

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