Adelaide pair in court over $11m fraud, South Australia

Two people were arrested for money laundering and deception offences as part of a joint investigation into an alleged multimillion dollar fraud.

A 32-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman, both from Seaton, were arrested by South Australia Police Cybercrime Investigation Section detectives last night during a joint investigation with New South Wales Cybercrime Squad into an alleged 11 million dollar fraud after payroll data and fraudulent bank accounts were uncovered across Australia.

The pair were charged with money laundering and deception offences and will appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court today, Thursday 6 February. Police will allege in court they were actively involved in laundering of money misappropriated from Australian businesses targeted by the group.

New South Wales Detectives arrested a 31-year-old man, previously of Adelaide, in Green Square New South Wales yesterday and charged him with numerous offences.

South Australia Police initiated Operation Captcha and New South Wales Police established Strike Force Cedrilla to investigate these offences which occurred in both states and other states across Australia.

Investigations identified private information and hacking tools were utilised by the group to acquire and modify payroll data, superannuation details and credit card information for illicit activity.

Following extensive investigations South Australia and New South Wales Cybercrime Investigations Detectives executed a number of search warrants in Brompton, Somerton Park and Seaton, and Newtown and Erskineville in New South Wales.

During the searches Detectives from both States seized a number of mobile phones, computers, electronic equipment, identification documentation a small amount of drugs and cryptocurrency.

Officer in Charge of the South Australia Police Cybercrime Investigations Section, Detective Senior Sergeant Adam Serafini said, “Detectives in both states have conducted tireless investigations into this group who were conducting sophisticated and complex cybercrime offending.

“Cybercrime and this investigation in particular presented unique challenges for law enforcement who were able to tackles this issue collaboratively with law enforcement and industry partners.

“This investigation is an excellent example of police working together to ensure that cybercrimes which are committed across our state and territory borders will be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement.”

Investigations under Operation Captcha and Strike Force Cedrilla are continuing, which may identify further potential victims across Australia. Further charges are expected to be laid.

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