Police seize a record $150 million in assets as a Sydney crime syndicate was busted
Australian federal police officers have dismantled an organized crime syndicate and seized a record $150 million in assets including mansions, real estate in western Sydney, cryptocurrency, designer watches and handbags.
Deputy Commissioner Kirsty Schofield said nine people arrested on Wednesday would be tried on Thursday, with the leader of the crime group facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
The gang allegedly operated as an “underground bank” moving proceeds of crime between foreign accounts from 2018 to 2022, bypassing international financial systems in the process.
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“This is the largest asset restriction that the AFP has put in place,” Schofield said.
The AFP-led Criminal Asset Seizure Task Force has secured injunctions on 20 properties in Sydney, including a $47 million 360-acre property near Sydney’s second international airport.
Schofield described the affected country as “essentially the size of a suburb.”
Also seized were mansions in Sydney’s eastern suburbs worth a total of $19 million, $29 million in cryptocurrency and several commercial buildings in and around the Sydney CBD.
Police also seized luxury vehicles, several bank accounts, 18 designer watches, 17 designer handbags and 46 pieces of designer jewelry.
“We know today’s details can be upsetting for many Australians, especially given the overwhelming majority of Australians who work very hard to make a living,” Schofield said.
“We will claim that the main leader in the organization used his profits to live big.
“They bought high-end jewelry, high-end watches, and some of those watches cost more than an individual would make in a lifetime.”
The investigation is ongoing and more assets could still be confiscated.
“Today I am sending out an alert to organized crime groups involved in money laundering activities – they are on our radar,” she said.
https://7news.com.au/news/crime/police-seize-record-150m-haul-of-assets-as-crime-syndicate-smashed-in-sydney-c-9628385 Police seize a record $150 million in assets as a Sydney crime syndicate was busted