$2.24 million of suspected crime proceeds restrained

A total of $2.24 million in alleged proceeds of crime has been restrained by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as part of an investigation involving a Chinese national linked to two Perth bank accounts.

The AFP Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) believes the accounts were opened last month (October) and several big cash deposits were then made within just a few weeks.

The AFP suspects it was an attempt to launder illicitly-obtained funds and is currently investigating the source of the money.

Police say the two bank accounts are in the name of a Chinese national, who is based overseas.

The money was restrained by order of the Supreme Court of Western Australia upon application by the AFP last week (21 November) under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

No arrests have been made at this stage.

AFP Detective Superintendent Crime Operations in Perth, Timothy Underhill, says by taking proceeds of crime action to restrain the account, Australia sends a strong message that it will not be a haven for criminals to stash the proceeds of their illegal activities.

"This case demonstrates the work that the Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce undertakes to pursue what it alleges is the benefit derived from crime by targeting criminals and illicit assets," Detective Superintendent Underhill said.

The taskforce combines the resources of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

Detective Superintendent Underhill thanked ANZ for its high levels of co-operation, giving effect to the restraining order made in the case without delay which, he said, was instrumental in enabling the restraint of the funds.

He said the recent placement of an AUSTRAC officer within the Perth CACT also helped enable investigators to restrain the assets within 24 hours of the AFP receiving intelligence about the account.

Detective Superintendent Underhill said it was another great example of Australian government agencies and the private sector working effectively together to protect the Australian financial system and community from criminal abuse.

The AFP will press for final forfeiture orders in due course, from where the funds can be used by the Commonwealth Government to benefit the community through crime prevention, intervention or diversion programs or other law enforcement initiatives.

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