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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Men – aged 67 and 53 – charged over $4.5m money laundering syndicate

Australian Federal Police (AFP) have charged two Queensland men for their alleged involvement in a money laundering syndicate responsible for laundering $4.5 million dollars in cash since February 2021.

Police arrested and charged a Helensvale man, 67, yesterday and a Graceville man, 53, today following an AFP investigation that began in February.

“It will be alleged a Helensvale man used personal information from clients to his consultancy business to open fraudulent bank accounts. The accounts were opened in the name of some of his clients believed to be without their knowledge,” the AFP said in a statement today.

“The Graceville man allegedly supplied millions of dollars of funds that is the suspected proceeds of crime to be deposited into the accounts in an effort to avoid detection by authorities.”

Investigators executed search warrants at addresses in Helensvale, Graceville, Bardon and Brisbane City yesterday as part of the investigation.

Officers seized $70,000 cash from two safes that were hidden under stairs and a cash counter at a Bardon premises while $160,000 cash was seized from a safe at the home of the Helensvale man.

Police have also seized a number of mobile phones for further forensic examination.

The Graceville man, 53, is due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court today charged with conspiring to deal in the proceeds of general crime and at the time of dealing the value of the money or property was $1,000,000 or more.

The Helensvale man, 67, is due to appear in Southport Magistrates Court today charged with conspiring to deal in the proceeds of general crime and at the time of dealing the value of the money or property was $1,000,000 or more.

The maximum penalty for the offence is 25 years’ imprisonment.

The Helensvale man has also been charged with 29 counts of conducting transactions so as to avoid reporting requirements relating the threshold transactions.

The maximum penalty for the offence is five years’ imprisonment.

AFP Acting Commander Investigations Northern Command Adrian Telfer said the AFP was committed to dismantling money laundering enterprises that enabled organised criminal activity.

“Money laundering is the backbone of organised crime. Money is the sole reason organised crime exists and taking away their ill-gotten wealth is a key priority for the AFP,” Acting Commander Telfer said.

“We will continue to target the structures that enable organised crime to hide their wealth and can’t rule out more arrests as our investigators follow the money.”

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