Arson detectives charge woman with 93 offences detected during fatal-fire investigation

A man and woman will face court today charged with offences allegedly uncovered during an investigation into a fatal house fire in Sydney’s south-west last year.

Just after 1.30am on Wednesday 30 June 2021, emergency services were called to Montana Way, Macquarie Fields, after smoke was seen coming from a two-storey brick home.

The residents were able to escape the home; however, a 14-year-old boy visiting the home was unaccounted for.

Fire and Rescue NSW extinguished the blaze and located the body of the boy in an upstairs bedroom.

The boy was formally identified as Tahma Teara-Jones.

Detectives from the Financial Crimes Squad’s Arson Unit, assisted by Campbelltown City Police Area Command, established Strike Force Tedsa to investigate the circumstances of the fire.

As part of their investigation, detectives uncovered information relating to fraudulent applications for NSW Government grants.

Following further inquiries, Strike Force Tedsa investigators, with assistance from the Public Order and Riot Squad, executed search warrants at homes at Macquarie Fields and Lurnea about 8am yesterday (Wednesday 30 November 2022).

During the searches, police seized an Audi S5, numerous mobile phones, multiple sim cards, multiple computers, tablets and hard-drive devices, identification documents, mail and receipts in various names and fraud-related documents, including a blank birth certificate template.

A 36-year-old woman was arrested at one of the Macquarie Fields properties at taken to Campbelltown Police Station.

She was charged with 93 offences, including fraud, forgery, aggravated break and enter and commit serious indictable offence-people there, use, supply etc stolen firearm or firearm part, pervert the course of justice, deal with proceeds of crime, possess identification information, prohibited weapons without permit, participate criminal group contribute criminal activity, and threaten to destroy or damage another person’s property.

It will further be alleged that the woman made threats to burn a house down as part of a dispute with another person.

She has been refused bail to appear at Campbelltown Local Court later today (Thursday 1 December 2022).

A 42-year-old man arrested at the Lurnea property and taken to Liverpool Police Station, where he was charged with five counts of use, supply etc stolen firearm or firearm part, aggravated break and enter and commit serious indictable offence-people there, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.

He was refused bail and appeared at Liverpool Local Court, where he was formally refused bail to re-appear at the same court on Monday 6 February 2023.

Investigations under Strike Force Tedsa are ongoing.

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

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