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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Woman charged in identity theft racket

A 52-year-old Sydney woman has been arrested by Cybercrime Squad detectives as part of an ongoing investigation into a criminal syndicate allegedly involved in money laundering and identity theft across NSW.

In April this year, detectives established Strike Force Bilkurra to investigate a criminal syndicate involved in cyber-enabled fraudulent activity including identity theft and money laundering. 

Investigations identified that stolen personal identification information had been used to acquire fraudulent credit cards, which were then used to obtain cash, cryptocurrency, telecommunication equipment and household goods. 

In August, investigators executed three search warrants at homes at Eastgardens, South Coogee and Randwick.

During the searches, detectives seized more than 150 mobile phones and more than 300 sim cards, as well as computers and electronic equipment.

Officers also seized $11,580 cash, more than 300 credit cards, personal identification documentation and about 18g of a white substance believed to be methylamphetamine (ice). 

Luxury handbags valued at $50,000 and two vehicles – a Land Rover and Holden Commodore – were also seized.

Two men, aged 41 and 44, and a 42-year-old woman were arrested during the operation. All three were charged and remain before the courts.

Following further inquiries, Cybercrime Squad detectives arrested a 27-year-old Newtown man.

He was taken to Newtown Police Station and charged with participate in criminal group contribute to criminal activity, 16 counts of knowingly deal with proceeds of crime and possess identity info to commit indictable offence.

Following further enquiries, a 52-year-old Sydney woman was arrested at Mascot Police Station earlier today.

She has been charged with participate in criminal group contribute to criminal activity, six counts of possess identity info to commit indictable offence and five counts of knowingly deal with proceeds of crime.

The woman was granted strict conditional bail to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on October 26.

Five people have now been charged with a total of 103 offences following investigations under Strike Force Bilkurra, which are continuing.

Victims of identity theft can contact IDCARE for assistance to reduce the harm experienced from the compromise and misuse of identity information: https://www.idcare.org. 

Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Bilkurra investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

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