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Man caught in ML syndicate investigation

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) reported today that a Sydney man will be facing the Magistrate’s Court this week after an AFP investigation into a money-laundering syndicate.

The AFP believes the man in question controlled bank accounts authorities allege have been used to launder $7.7 million.

In an official statement, the AFP said this was a joint operation with the Western Australian Police Force, Australian Border Force, the Australia Transactions Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC).

AUSTRAC National Manager Intelligence Partnerships, Bradley Brown, said the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) provided financial intelligence throughout the operation.

“Money laundering causes significant harm to our community by financing serious organised crime, such as drug trafficking and the illegal sale of firearms,” Brown said.

The maximum penalty for these offences is three to seven years imprisonment; however, further charges are expected as the investigation continues.

“This case highlights that following the money is equally important as the investigation of the crime itself. By their nature, criminal syndicates are complex to investigate. In some cases, organised crime is not that organised, but a consistent weakness is the money. This underscores that, if you follow the crime, you get the criminals; however, if you follow the money, you don’t know where it will take you,” Brown told GRC Professional earlier this week.

AFP Detective Superintendent Timothy Underhill said that, “Detecting, disrupting and dismantling money-laundering syndicates is one of the AFP’s priorities. Targeting the laundering of criminal proceeds is one of the most effective ways in which law enforcement agencies can disrupt organised crime through impacting their capacity to finance illegal activity and through removing the financial incentive to commit crime.”

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